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Cary N. Culbertson


Silver Star

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Awarded for actions during the Operation Allied Force

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Captain Cary N. Culbertson, United States Air Force, was awarded the Silver Star 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 action, near Belgrade, Yugoslavia, on 14 April 1999. On that date, Captain Culbertson was leading a flight of F-16CJs that was providing suppression of enemy air defenses for B-2 bombers on a strike mission near Belgrade when Serbian forces fired three SA-3s at the fighter planes. Captain Culbertson turned his F-16 toward the rising missiles and attacked the SA-3 site with a high-speed anti-radiation missile. The enemy then launched two more SA-3s, this time directly targeting Captain Culbertson's aircraft. Although he would have been justified to discontinue his attack and defend against the incoming missiles, Captain Culbertson, with total disregard for his own personal safety and with the lives of his flight members foremost in his mind, continued his attack. Firing a HARM missile he destroyed the enemy radar dish, and then evaded the SA-3s. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Captain Culbertson has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: April 14, 1999

Service: Air Force

Rank: Captain