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Last Update: Tuesday, October 25, 2011

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Bronze Star Recipients

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Link to list of all USAF decorations and their order of precedence


  The Bronze Star was authorized by Executive Order No. 9419 on Feb. 4, 1944, is awarded to a person in any branch of the military service who, while serving in any capacity with the armed forces of the United States on or after Dec. 7, 1941, shall have distinguished himself by heroic or meritorious achievement or service, not involving participation in aerial flight, in connection with military operations against an armed enemy.

The award recognizes acts of heroism performed in ground combat if they are of lesser degree than that required for the Silver Star. It also recognizes single acts of merit and meritorious service if the achievement or service is of a lesser degree than that deemed worthy of the Legion of Merit; but such service must have been accomplished with distinction.

The act justifying award of the medal must be performed while fighting an enemy of the United States, or while involved in conflict with an opposing/foreign force. It can also be awarded for heroism while serving with friendly forces engaged in combat against an opposing military in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

The medal, designed by the firm of Bailey, Banks and Biddle, is in the shape of a five-pointed star 1 1/2 inches from point to point. In its center is a smaller raised star. The small star is set on a raised ten-pointed figure, from which rays extend to the points of the outer star, giving the whole a sculptured effect. The reverse of the medal also has a raised center, with rays extending to the five points of the star. Inscribed on this are the words "Heroic or Meritorious Achievement," encircling a blank space for the recipient's name. The ribbon is predominately red, with a narrow blue center stripe flanked on either side by a narrow white stripe, and a narrow white stripe at the outer edge. A bronze "V" on the ribbon denotes combat service.

The citations that accompany the below awards provide the reader with an understanding of the types of missions Pararescuemen conduct in both combat and  non-combat environments and the risks involved in prosecuting these missions.

Awarded the Bronze Star


 If you know of any other USAF Pararescueman awarded the Bronze Star contact me at

Recipients name is followed by the date of the incident and the location where it happened

Leon Fullwood, 30 August 1968, Vietnam (Narrative presently not available)


Clyde R. Ross, 1971, Vietnam (Narrative presently not available)
Tim Ryan, December 1989, Panama (Narrative presently not available)
Donald W. Shelton, 18-30 December 1989, Panama

John A. Smith, December 1989, Panama (Narrative presently not available)

Jerome A. Thomas, 19-21 December 1989, Panama
Alan N. Thompson, 23 October 1967, Vietnam
William V. Vargas, 21 April 1970 through 10 December 1970, Vietnam

Leslie A. Wolfe, December 1989, Panama (Narrative presently not available)




Other Air Rescue Personnel
Awarded the Bronze Star

The below list was compiled by this webmaster and serves as a starting point in identifying other Air Rescue personnel who have been awarded the Bronze Star.   If you know of any other Air Rescue individuals awarded the Bronze Star, contact me at


Bruno Gaizauskas  HH-43 Pilot  (Narrative presently not available)  Photo



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