Master Sergeant Parnell Gene Fisher
Master Sergeant Fisher of Jacksonville earned the Silver Star Medal for Gallantry and the Distinguished Flying Cross for service in Vietnam as a member of the 4th Air Commando Squadron.
Master Sergeant Fisher earned The Silver Star while serving as a Staff Sergeant in Vietnam. The narrative reads as follows: “Staff Sergeant Parnell G. Fisher distinguished himself by gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force near Vung Tau, Republic of Vietnam on 18 December 1966. On that date, Sergeant Fisher, while flying as Loadmaster on an AC-47 aircraft, dropped flares to illuminate the hostile positions for the AC-47’s own firepower assault. Due to heavy antiaircraft fire, his aircraft blacked out, necessitating all flare drops to be made in complete darkness. After numerous flares had been released successfully, a sudden grave situation developed while a flare stood ready for release. The flare exploded prematurely, ejected its canister, deployed the parachute inside the aircraft, and initiated the delay fuse for flare ignition. The crewmember holding this flare was wounded and knocked unconscious. Sergeant Fisher, realizing that this flare would ignite and set the aircraft on fire, responded instantaneously. With complete disregard for his own personal safety, he dropped on his hands and knees desperately searching for the flare in the darkness. In the remaining few critical seconds, he managed to grasp it and toss it out just as the flare ignited. As the flare hit the slipstream, its deployed parachute caught under the rear cargo door, causing the flare to burn against the fuselage and once again endanger the entire aircraft with its inextinguishable flame. Sergeant Fisher responded immediately to the new danger, he then leaned halfway out of the aircraft and after several attempts, cut the flare loose with his knife saving the aircraft and entire crew. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Sergeant Fisher has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.”
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