September 1

This Day in History

Vietnam War

Sep 1, 1968:

Fighter pilot nominated for Medal of Honor

Lt. Col. William A. Jones III leads a mission near Dong Hoi, North Vietnam, to rescue a downed pilot. Locating the pilot, who had activated his emergency locator beacon, Colonel Jones attacked a nearby gun emplacement. On his second pass, Colonel Jones' aircraft was hit and the cockpit of his Douglas A-1H Skyraider was set ablaze. He tried to eject, but the ejection system failed. He then returned to base and reported the exact position of the downed pilot before receiving medical treatment for his burns. The downed pilot was rescued by helicopter the next day. Colonel Jones was nominated for the Medal of Honor for his actions during the rescue attempt, but he died in an aircraft accident in the United States before he could be presented with the award.

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