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Dayton Region Walk of Fame

Airman First Class William H. Pitsenbarger, USAF Pararescueman one of five inductees for 2020.

From the Wright-Dunbar, Inc., Dayton Region Walk of Fame news release:

William H. Pitsenbarger (1944 – 1966) Airman First Class, USAF. Born and raised in Piqua, Ohio, William tried to enlist in the U.S. Army as a Green Beret during his junior year of high school but his parents refused to give their permission. After he graduated from high school, he joined the Air Force and in 1962 found himself on a train bound for Air Force basic training. Airman Pitsenbarger volunteered for Pararescue and was trained and assigned to the Rescue Squadron based at Hamilton AFB, California. He served a temporary duty in Vietnam and then volunteered to return. He received orders in 1965 to report to the 38th Air Rescue and Recovery Squadron at Bien Hoa Air Base in Saigon.

On May 11, 1966 near Cam My, Airman Pitsenbarger was aboard a rescue helicopter responding to a call for evacuation of casualties. Pitsenbarger rode a hoist to the ground where he coordinated rescue efforts, cared for the wounded, and prepared casualties for evacuation. Airman Pitsenbarger stayed behind to perform medical duties during a period of heavy assault by a large Viet Cong force. He courageously resisted the enemy, distributed vital ammunition to his fellow soldiers, repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire and returned fire whenever he could. Airman Pitsenbarger was fatally shot and perished while saving the lives of wounded soldiers on the ground. For his courage and gallantry, Airman First Class William H. Pitsenbarger was posthumously awarded the Air Force Cross. In 2008, his family accepted the Congressional Medal of Honor from the Secretary of the Air Force. William Pitsenbarger is buried in Miami Memorial Park Cemetery in Covington, Ohio.

For more on all of the distinguished 2020 Walk of Fame inductees see the "News" page on this website, or at the Dayton Walk of Fame website:


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