Friday, April 12, 2013

A1C William H. Pitsenbarger

Airman First Class William H. Pitsenbarger, of Piqua, Ohio, was apart of the USAF Det 6, 38th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery unit in Bien Hoa Air Base, Republic of Vietnam, assigned with them as a Pararescue Crew Member.

On April 11, 1966 (Yes I'm a day late...) his rescue team responded to an evac approximately 35 miles east of Saigon.  The infantry unit was under fire and their were casualties that needed to be evacuated out.  A1C Pitsenbarger volunteered to take down a hoist through the jungle, over a hundred feet to the ground.   Once on the ground his rescue efforts started immediately.  He professionally cared for and evacuated nine casualties, ensuring them to safety.

During one of the pick-ups, one of the rescue helicopters had taken on some enemy fire and was forced to an emergency landing....Instead of leaving, A1C Pitsenberger courageously elected to stay on the ground and continue providing medical treatment to the wounded.

Quickly the area was hit hard with enemy fire and mortars.  After several evacuation attempts the area was attacked by large Viet Cong forces, thus causing any additional attempts of evacuation to be held off.  A1C Pitsenberger took up arms and helped in the fight alongside the infantry men he was there to rescue.  Continually, he pulled the wounded out of further harms way and treated them, thus putting himself in the line of fire, becoming wounded three times himself, but never stopped caring for the others.  As the line was breached, nearly 80 percent of the American soldiers had become casualties and A1C Pittsenberger finally succumbed to fatal wounds.

On December 17, 2000, A1C William H. Pittsenberger received the Medal of Honor Posthumously, and was received by his father by the Secretary of State.

www.pararescue.com/history.aspx?id=452

Medal of Honor - A1C William H. Pitsenbarger