Airman 1st Class William H. “Pits” Pitsenbarger, of Detachment 6, 38th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, hoists an injured South Vietnamese soldier into an HH-43F Huskie helicopter on March 7, 1966.
The soldier lost a foot when he stepped on a land mine while trying to put out a small brush fire at Bien Hoa Air Base near Saigon. Troops in the area were wondering how they could get the man out of the burning minefield when Pits volunteered to be lowered down to him, a dangerous maneuver because helicopter prop wash could set off mines.
Pits received an Airman’s Medal for his rescue. On April 11, Pits was killed by enemy fire during a combat rescue of wounded Army infantrymen. For his heroics that day, he was awarded the Medal of Honor.
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