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Harold Edward Fischer

Date of birth: May 8, 1925
Date of death: May 8, 2009
Burial location: Arlington, Virginia
Place of Birth: Iowa, Lone Rock
Home of record: Lone Rock Iowa
Status: POW

Harold Fischer joined the Navy shortly before WWII ended, did a brief stint and then attended college at Iowa State University. He returned to service in 1949, this time in the Army, and was subsequently transferred to the Air Force. He scored 10 victories to become a Double-Ace, before being shot down himself on April 7, 1953. He was held as a POW until 1955 when he returned home to resume his Air Force career, serving as an advisor to the South Vietnamese Air Force before retiring in 1978 as a U.S. Air Force Colonel.

AWARDS AND CITATIONS

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Awarded for actions during the Korean War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Air Force) to Captain Harold Edward Fischer (AFSN: AO-2204126), United States Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United Nations while serving as Pilot of an F-86 aircraft, 39th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing, FIFTH Air Force, in action against enemy forces in the Republic of Korea on 16 February 1953. On that date, while leading a flight of two F-86 Sabre Jets on an air superiority mission over North Korea, Captain Fischer sighted a formation of sixteen enemy MIG-15s heading south across the Yalu River. Disregarding the odds against him, he immediately initiated an attack. Although under intense enemy fire, Captain Fischer tenaciously pursued the leading MIG-15 through violent evasive maneuvers until he had destroyed it. Completely disregarding the fact that several enemy aircraft were still firing at him, Captain Fischer skillfully maneuvered his Sabre into firing position on another MIG-15 that was attacking his wingman. Again demonstrating extreme courage and outstanding flying skill, Captain Fischer pressed his attack until the MIG-15 was destroyed. These two victories in the face of counter attacks by such superior numbers unnerved the enemy to the extent that they withdrew into Manchuria before further attacks could be made. By his outstanding heroism, his complete disregard for personal safety and high sense of duty, Captain Fischer reflected great credit upon himself, the Far East Air Forces, and the United States Air Force.

General Orders: Headquarters, Far East Air Forces: General Orders No. 9 (1954)

Action Date: February 16, 1953

Service: Air Force

Battalion: 39th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron

Regiment: 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing

Division: 5th Air Force

Silver Star

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Awarded for actions during the Korean War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Captain Harold Edward Fischer (AFSN: AO-2204126), United States Air Force, for gallantry in action as a Pilot, 39th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, FIFTHY Air Force, on 24 January 1953. On that date, Captain Fischer was flying number three position in a flight of four F-86 aircraft acting as escort for fighter-bombers on an attack against the Sinanju bridge complex. When enemy MiGs were encountered the flight attacked, during which Captain Fischer's aircraft was damaged by the misfire of one of his fifty caliber guns. Although the rudder cable was completely severed, the cabin pressurization lost, and the flaps unevenly extended, Captain Fischer aggressively pressed his attack on a MiG, flying through molten metal streaming from the burning MiG. Captain Fischer broke off his attack only after successfully destroying the enemy aircraft and disrupting a possible attack on the friendly fighter bombers. Through his high personal courage in attacking, despite the heavy damage to his aircraft, Captain Fischer demonstrated devotion to duty beyond the normal call, and reflected great credit upon himself, the Far East Air Forces, and the United States Air Force.

General Orders: Headquarters, Far East Air Forces: General Orders No. 223 (May 7, 1953)

Action Date: January 24, 1954

Service: Air Force

Rank: Captain

Battalion: 39th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron

Regiment: 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing

Division: 5th Air Force

Legion of Merit

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, 20 July 1942, takes pleasure in presenting the Legion of Merit to Colonel Harold Edward Fischer (AFSN: AO-2204126), United States Air Force, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States as Chief, Air Force Advisory Team THREE, and Advisor to the Commander, 3d Air Division, Vietnamese Air Force, Republic of Vietnam from 6 September 1971 to 6 September 1972. In these important assignments, the leadership, exemplary foresight and ceaseless efforts consistently demonstrated by Colonel Fischer resulted in significant contributions to the progress and effectiveness of the Vietnamese Air Force Improvement and Modernization Program. By his superior management of the Advisory Team and his skillful advice and assistance, the 3d Air Division assumed a major portion of the air support missions for all of Military Region III. Three major military operations were conducted in this region and Cambodia with Vietnamese air power being a critical factor in their success. The superior initiative, outstanding leadership, and personal endeavor displayed by Colonel Fischer reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: September 6, 1971 - September 6, 1972

Service: Air Force

Rank: Colonel

Distinguished Flying Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Korean War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to First Lieutenant Harold Edward Fischer (AFSN: AO-2204126), United States Air Force, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as Element Leader of four F-80 aircraft on 11 June 1951. While on an armed reconnaissance mission near Munam-ni, Korea, Lieutenant Fischer located an anti-aircraft position harassing his flight with intense and accurate flak. Disregarding the hazardous terrain and adverse weather conditions, Lieutenant Fischer led his flight into the fire, and on his initial pass, scored a direct hit with a napalm bomb which completely destroyed the flak position. After three successful strafing attacks, Lieutenant Fischer personally destroyed a concentration of approximately thirty troops with his remaining napalm bomb. Total destruction by his element amounted to three anti-aircraft positions, more than fifty troops, and over forty stacks of supplies. Lieutenant Fischer's aggressive leadership and flawless tactical airmanship reflected great credit upon himself, the Far East Air Forces, and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: June 11, 1951

Service: Air Force

Rank: First Lieutenant

Battalion: 39th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron

Regiment: 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing

Division: 5th Air Force

Distinguished Flying Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Korean War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross to First Lieutenant Harold Edward Fischer (AFSN: AO-2204126), United States Air Force, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as Number Two Man in a flight of four F-86 type aircraft, 39th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, FIFTH Air Force, on 26 November 1952. While on a fighter sweep along the Cong Chong River, a large concentration of enemy aircraft were reported south of the Yalu River and Lieutenant Fischer's flight was cleared to proceed north. Over the Suihe Reservoir Lieutenant Fischer's flight encountered a flight of four MiG-15 type aircraft and the number three man, being in the most advantageous position, was cleared to make the bounce. Following the second element in, Lieutenant Fischer observed two more MiG-15 type aircraft and upon receiving clearance from his leader, initiated an attack. Lieutenant Fischer scored decisive hits on one MiG-15 type aircraft and the pilot was observed to eject. By his personal courage and exceptional airmanship in this action and throughout his service with the Far East Command, Lieutenant Fischer has brought great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: November 26, 1952

Service: Air Force

Rank: First Lieutenant

Battalion: 39th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron

Regiment: 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing

Division: 5th Air Force

Prisoner of War Medal

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Awarded for actions during the Korean War

Captain Harold E. Fischer (AFSN: AO-2204126), United States Air Force, was captured by communist forces after he was shot down over North Korea on 7 April 1953, and was held as a Prisoner of War until his release by the Chinese on 30 May 1955.

Action Date: April 7, 1953 - May 30, 1955

Service: Air Force

Rank: Captain

Battalion: 39th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron

Regiment: 51st Fighter-Interceptor Group

Division: Prisoner of War (China)