Vietnam vet receives medal for valor in 1968 firefight

An Air Force veteran from Amityville was awarded one of the military?s highest honors more than 40 years after his heroic service in Vietnam. Retired Chief Master Sgt. Dennis Richardson received the

News 12 Staff

Apr 7, 2008, 5:22 PM

Updated 5,949 days ago

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An Air Force veteran from Amityville was awarded one of the military?s highest honors more than 40 years after his heroic service in Vietnam.
Retired Chief Master Sgt. Dennis Richardson received the Air Force Cross in a ceremony Saturday at the 106th Rescue Wing Air National Guard Base at Francis S. Gabreski Airport. The medal is the military's second highest combat decoration, behind only the Medal of Honor.The Air Force board determined that Richardson should have received the medal in 1968. The delay in the award was due to a cleric error that was discovered by a history buff and brought to the attention of the Air Force.Richardson was part of a team attempting to rescue two Air Force pilots who were shot down and surrounded by enemy troops along the Ho Chi Minh Trail in 1968.
Richardson was already wounded, under fire and hovering 10 feet above the ground, but provided enough machine gun cover for the helicopter pilot to maneuver out of the danger zone.
The award ceremony was attended by nearly 1,000 members of the military, friends, family and dignitaries.


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