Tuesday, April 4, 2017

MOH: An Amazing Coincidence: Vietnam & WWII

 Fisher and Myers after the rescue

Bernard Francis "Bernie" Fisher (pronounced Bernerd) (January 11, 1927 – August 16, 2014) was a United States Air Force officer and a recipient of the U.S. military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor. He was the first Air Force member to receive the medal in the Vietnam War.

On March 10, 1966, he led a two-ship element of Skyraiders to the A Shau Valley to support troops in contact with the enemy. Six "Spads" were striking numerous emplacements when the A-1 piloted by Major D. W. "Jump" Myers was hit and forced to crash-land on the airstrip of a CIDG-Special Forces camp. Myers bellied in on the 2,500-foot runway and took cover behind an embankment on the edge of the strip while Fisher directed the rescue effort. Since the closest helicopter was 30 minutes away and the enemy was only 200 yards (180 m) from Myers, Fisher quickly decided to land his two-seat A-1E[2] on the strip and pick up his friend. Under the cover provided by the other A-1s, he landed in the valley, taxied to Myer's position, and loaded the downed airman into the empty seat. Dodging shell holes and debris on the steel-planked runway, Fisher took off safely despite many hits on his aircraft by small-arms fire.

The rescue at A Shau was similar to an event that occurred on August 4, 1944 during World War II.[3] On that date, Captain Richard "Dick" Willsie's P-38 was damaged by flak near Ploieşti, Romania. After both engines failed, Willsie crash-landed but was rescued from capture when Flight Officer Dick Andrews landed his P-38 on the field, squeezed Willsie into the cockpit, and flew back to base. By remarkable coincidence, both Willsie and Andrews were also involved in the A Shau rescue.[3] Willsie was the commanding officer of the 602nd Air Commando Squadron to which Myers was assigned, and Andrews flew top cover during the entire rescue.[3]

More @ WIKI


  1. I first met Bernie Fisher and his family in 1968 at a "Mormon" church fireside meeting in his home at Bitburg Air Force Base in Germany.

    I was a Private First Class stationed at Spangdahlem Air Force Base, and each Sunday, attended services of The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints at Bitburg Air Force, where Bernie Fisher was also a member.

    Many years later, he and I were both members of an organization of (mostly) Mormon veterans of the Viet Nam War (and other wars) seeking to assist Vietnamese members of our church who had been left behind at the fall of Saigon.

    When I lived in Idaho, I visited him several times at his farm, where he'd let me camp out while I was attending medical training in Boise.

    It was an unbelievable privilege to actually have a Medal of Honor recipient as a personal friend.

    Did you know he has a ship named after him?

    Here's the URL of a photograph:


    The ship's mission is to transport emergency supplies for the United States Air Force.

  2. Not only was Bernie Fisher awarded the Medal of Honor, but he also received the Silver Star Medal for his actions in the very same battle on the previous day.

    It's been said that Bernie Fisher is the only person to receive the Medal of Honor who was not wounded while getting it, and also unusual is that he received the Medal of Honor, not for taking lives, but for saving one.

    1. I may be wrong, but I don't remember Drew Dix being wounded. http://www.namsouth.com/viewtopic.php?t=26&highlight=nago

  3. A friend of mine said that the Air Force had to either award Bernie Fisher the Medal of Honor, or else, court-martial him, as he broke every Air Force regulation when he made that incredible rescue under fire.