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William F. Denehan


Silver Star

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Awarded for actions during the Operation Allied Force

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Captain William F. Denehan, United States Air Force, was awarded the Silver Star for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in military operations against an armed enemy of the United States as Pilot of an MH-60G Pave Hawk Helicopter of the 55th Special Operations Squadron, 16th Special Operations Wing, in action near Novi Sad, Serbia, on 2 May 1999. On that date, Captain Denehan participated in a combat Search-and-Rescue Task Force tasked with locating and recovering an American F-16 pilot shot down in Serbia. For more than an hour Captain Denehan flew through sporadic barrages of surface-to-air missiles, anti-aircraft and small arms fire and once was targeted by an SA-9 missile, which missed by only 100 feet. Though his helicopter was hit in the fuselage and left engine cowling by small arms fire, he remained until the downed airman was located, landing his battered helicopter at sunrise to recover the pilot and return with him to base. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Captain Denehan has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: May 2, 1999

Service: Air Force

Rank: Captain

Company: 55th Special Operations Squadron

Regiment: 16th Special Operations Wing