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Sonny P. Blinkinsop

Home of record: Toland Connecticut


Silver Star

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Awarded for actions during the Operation Allied Force

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Captain Sonny P. Blinkinsop, United States Air Force, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force while serving as Pilot of an F-16 Fighter Plane in the 23d Fighter Squadron, 31st Air Expeditionary Wing, near Obrva, Yugoslavia, on 2 May 1999. On that date, Captain Blinkinsop lead a flight of F-16CJ aircraft into the heavily defended Obrva Airfield Area, defended by a robust array of SA-3 batteries and heavy caliber anti-aircraft artillery. Minutes after establishing their Combat Air Patrol, several SA-3 launches were visually detected from the target area. Recognizing the danger, Captain Blinkinsop directed his number three man to employ a reactive high-speed anti-radiation missile. As number three turned to fire, Captain Blinkinsop's flight came under fire from subsequent salvos of SA-3s. With no personal regard to his own safety, he immediately turned his aircraft to engage the SA-3. Captain Blinkinsop fired a reactive high-speed anti-radiation missile to suppress the SA-3, silencing the site. While reforming his flight, the second wave of strikers entered the Obrva SA-3 rings. Captain Blinkinsop again turned and fired his last missile as two more SA-3 missiles were launched at the strikers. His action forced the SA-3 to shut down allowing all strikers to make a safe recovery to friendly territory. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Captain Blinkinsop has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: 2-May-99

Service: Air Force

Rank: Captain

Company: 23d Fighter Squadron

Regiment: 31st Air Expeditionary Wing