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Jay D. Lane , Jr.


Airman's Medal

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The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting the Airman's Medal to Staff Sergeant Jay D. Lane, Jr., United States Air Force, for heroism involving voluntary risk of life at Snaefellsness, Iceland, on 7 December 2001. On that date, Sergeant Lane demonstrated unquestionable courage by descending from a hovering helicopter in a fierce storm to the violently pitching deck of a sinking ship. Undaunted by the perils of the savage conditions and with enormous waves pounding down on him, Sergeant Lane showed absolutely no concern for his own safety. While the floundering vessel was being pounded against fifty-foot sea cliffs, with each successive wave literally submerging the ship and all the forces of nature smashing it to pieces, scores of land-based rescuers watched, helpless and in awe, as Sergeant Lane snatched the sole survivor of the devastated vessel from certain death. By his ultimate display of selfless determination, Sergeant Lane accomplished what no others were able to even attempt, and in so doing accomplished both the unit's 300th save, and the most dramatic rescue in unit history. The exemplary courage and heroism displayed by Sergeant Lane reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: 7-Dec-01

Service: Air Force

Rank: Staff Sergeant