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|Ted M. Demars
As a former pilot and navigator with 195
combat missions over Vietnam I found
Beyond the Call of Duty to be not only
fascinating but extremely accurate. This
is the kind of book you don't put down, as
it so vividly describes the life, the joys,
and the heartaches of an Air Force aviator.
Beyond the Call of Duty: The Story of an American
Hero in Vietnam
Providing close air support to ground troops in Vietnam was hazardous
anytime, but on March 10, 1066, the Special Forces in the old French
Fortress of Ashau were in particular trouble as the Viet Cong closed in.
When an American airman went down, his death was a near certainty. That’s
when Major Bernie Fisher had a decision to make: leave the pilot to his fate
or undertake a near-suicidal landing to get him out.
President Lyndon Baines Johnson later described the operation: "Hostile
troops had positioned themselves between the airstrip and the camp. Other
hostile troops had surrounded the camp and were continuously raking it with
automatic weapons fire from the surrounding hills…In the belief that the
downed pilot was seriously injured and in imminent danger of capture, Major
Fisher announced his intention to land on the airstrip to effect a rescue.
Although aware of the extreme danger and likely failure of such an attempt,
he elected to continue.
"Directing his own air cover, he landed his aircraft in the face of withering
ground fire and taxied almost the full length of the runway, which was littered
with battle debris and parts of an exploded aircraft. Major Fisher’s profound
concern for his fellow airman and at the risk of his life above and beyond the
call of duty are in the highest traditions of the United States Air Force and
reflect great credit upon himself – the Armed Forces of his country."
Bernie’s decision made him just one of sixteen members in the history of
the Air Force to earn the Congressional Medal of Honor. Now, in Beyond the
Call of Duty, the full story o this remarkable childhood, family life, and military
career is finally told.
Hardcover Book: 240 pages
Publisher: Shadow Mountain (February 1, 2004)
Read an excerpt from the book:
PRELUDE & CHAPTER ONE (pdf file)
Read published reviews of the book:
The Story of an American Hero
Vietnam War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient
Major Bernard Francis Fisher, USAF
Bernie Fisher's story will appeal to all
Americans, as it tells not just of heroic
moments but also of the daily effort spent
by members of the Armed Services in
defending our freedom.
I love airplanes and I love airplane stories,
but this book is about more than airplanes.
After finishing Beyond the Call of Duty I
have a new hero. Bernie Fisher's daring
mission under fire in Vietnam had me on
the edge of my seat.
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