Editor’s note: this is a guest post by a good friend of mine and pilot, call-sign Rebel. He neglected to give me permission to share any job specifics in his bio when sharing Major Fisher’s story, and even suggested that I take the credit for writing this piece if I didn’t want to just say that he was “an Air Force pilot”. But enough said about that, you can read between the lines. We wanted to share Major Fisher’s story in order to provide a remarkable example of bravery that speaks volumes about AFSOC’s predecessors the Air Commandos, and also share some AFSOC history with the readership.
“Without the air support you provided, we wouldn’t have lasted one day. If you hadn’t flown at all, the Special Forces wouldn’t have blamed you. It was suicidal, but you carried out your mission anyway. I wouldn’t have done it.” – Capt Tennis Cater, US Special Forces
At the United States Air Force Academy there are forty cadet squadrons, each with about 100 cadets. The squadron I graduated from was CS-37, the “Skyraiders”. Every day as we returned from class, the gym, or the dining hall, we would walk up a stairwell and past a mural on the wall with a name and an instantly recognizable medal: Major Bernard Fisher, the Congressional Medal of Honor, and the accompanying citation. His story was inspirational to all of us, and I’m honored to be able to share it.
Bernard Fisher was born 11 Jan 1927 in San Bernardino, CA, where he later went on to serve three years in the Idaho Air National Guard before commissioning into active duty in 1951. After flying interceptors for Air Defense Command, he transitioned to the A-1E Skyraider and deployed to Vietnam from July 1965 to June 1966.