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John P. Blessinger

Date of birth: January 15, 1958
Date of death: MIA: January 31, 1991
Home of record: New York
Status: MIA


Silver Star

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Awarded for actions during the Gulf War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Staff Sergeant John P. Blessinger, United States Air Force, for gallantry in connection with military operations against the forces of the Republic of Iraq, while serving as Gunner of AC-130H Spectre Gunship "Spirit 03", of the 16th Special Operations Squadron, U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command, in action against the Iraqi Army near Khafji, Saudi Arabia, on 31 January 1991. On that date, while performing an Operation DESERT STORM AC-130H armed reconnaissance mission, Sergeant Blessing was tasked to engage a free rocket over ground missile site. As the gunship infrared sensor operator, Sergeant Blessinger assisted the aircrew by tracking the position of the missile site and began firing 40 and 105 millimeter munitions at the target. While engaging the target, the air crew received heavy fire from numerous anti-aircraft artillery sites. His courageous and aggressive attack continued while under unceasing anti-aircraft artillery fire preventing a missile attack on allied coalition forces. The actions of Sergeant Blessinger aided the allied forces in repelling the Iraqi Army incursion south into the Saudi Arabia border town of Khafji. The professional competence, aerial skill, and devotion to duty displayed by Staff Sergeant Blessinger in the dedication of this service to his country reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

General Orders: Department of the Air Force, U.S. Central Air Forces, Special Order GA-007 (April 19, 1991)

Action Date: January 31, 1991

Service: Air Force

Rank: Staff Sergeant

Company: 16th Special Operations Squadron, AC-130 "Spirit 03"

Division: Air Force Special Operations Command