A Heroic Rescue – Again!
In the Vietnam war Lt. Col., Dick Willsie was the commander of the 602nd Air Commando Sqdn. Initially the 1st Air Commando Sqdn and the 602nd Air Commando Sqdn. were based together in Vietnam, and they flew together in single engine U.S. Navy Skyraider fighter-bomber aircraft. As the war developed, each of these squadrons separated and fanned out to cover more area. They were under the command of the U.S. Air Force.
One morning a U.S. Army camp situated far north of any other military camps, was surrounded by North Vietnam soldiers. The two Air Commando Squadrons were making an all-out effort to save this Camp.
Major Dafford Myers of the 602nd was on a mission to help that camp from being wiped out. He unluckily got hit by ground f1re. He decided to land on the camp’s short runway, even though it was within the range of the ordinance of the enemy’s fire power.
Myers called out that he was going to land on the runway. Luckily, Bernard Fisher saw what happened and said to himself, “If Dick Andrews in WWII could go down and pick up Willsie, I’m going down to pick up Myers.”
He did, and when he pulled up next to Myers plane Myers jumped into Fisher’s airplane — luckily the AIE Skyraider had two seats side by side. They did get hit by rifle fire, but fortunately, there was no serious damage to the plane. The cloud cover was very low, so they were quickly into the clouds and out of danger.
Shortly after that they were back at their friendly airport with no damage to the pilots at all. As a result of this rescue, Bernie Fisher received the Medal of Honor.
It seems to us to be a “no brainer” that Dick Andrews should have been awarded the Medal of Honor for the rescue of Dick Willsie that he performed in his P‑38 — which was the inspiration for Fisher’s heroic rescue of Myers. Read Andrews story.