Loading...

Medal of Honor vet and Kuna native passes away

Play

Photo: Video by IdahoOnYourSide.com

Medal of Honor vet and Kuna native passes away

By On Your Side Newsroom. CREATED Aug 18, 2014

A Kuna native who was awarded The Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War has died over the weekend.

Bernard Fisher risked his life to rescue a fellow pilot who crash landed on an airstrip surrounded by enemy forces during the Vietnam War in 1966. Fisher landed his two seat plane on the runway and was able to rescue D.W. “Jump” Meyers as enemy combatants fired small arms fire at the duo.

The plane that Fisher was piloting was covered in bullet holes, but was able to take off and return back to base.

Fisher was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1967.

Louis Bauman who works for the Warhawk Museum remembers Fisher fondly and explained, “Bernie Fisher was quite the fellow as far as what he achieved in Vietnam but a man who was not pretentious at all. He was a simple guy who was down to Earth.”

Fisher’s legacy includes a park in Kuna named, “The Colonel Bernard Fisher Veteran’s Memorial Park” and a highway in Utah that was named after him.

Fisher’s official Medal of Honor citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. On that date, the Special Forces camp at A Shau was under attack by 2,000 North Vietnamese Army regulars. Hostile troops had positioned themselves between the airstrip and the camp. Other hostile troops had surrounded the camp and were continuously raking it with automatic weapons fire from the surrounding hills. The tops of the 1,500-foot hills were obscured by an 800 foot ceiling, limiting aircraft maneuverability and forcing pilots to operate within range of hostile gun positions, which often were able to fire down on the attacking aircraft. During the battle, Maj. Fisher observed a fellow airman crash land on the battle-torn airstrip. In the belief that the downed pilot was seriously injured and in imminent danger of capture, Maj. Fisher announced his intention to land on the airstrip to effect a rescue. Although aware of the extreme danger and likely failure of such an attempt, he elected to continue. Directing his own air cover, he landed his aircraft and taxied almost the full length of the runway, which was littered with battle debris and parts of an exploded aircraft. While effecting a successful rescue of the downed pilot, heavy ground fire was observed, with 19 bullets striking his aircraft. In the face of the withering ground fire, he applied power and gained enough speed to lift-off at the overrun of the airstrip. Maj. Fisher's profound concern for his fellow airman, and at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in the highest traditions of the U.S. Air Force and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.