Life-size statue honors Airman Pitsenbarger

Published: Saturday, November 14, 2015 @ 2:14 PM
Updated: Saturday, November 14, 2015 @ 2:14 PM

Piqua residents and local veterans gathered this morning for the unveiling and dedication of the statue made in the likeness of Airman First Class William H. Pitsenbarger.

The life-size statue was unveiled at the Pitsenbarger Sports Complex.

Pitsenbarger sacrificed his life to save others when he dropped into an active Vietnam combat situation in April 1966, according to a release from the Miami County Foundation.

Content Continues Below

Pitsenbarger saved nine people and refused to be evacuated with the wounded, providing aid and support to those he couldn’t rescue until he was fatally wounded, according to the release.

The honored Airman posthumously received the Air Force Cross and the Congressional medal of Honor.

Col. John Devillier, Wright-Patterson 88th Air Base wing commander, called Pitsenbarger a “true hero” during his comments at this morning’s dedication.

“In his short 275 days he was there, Airman Pitsenbarger flew more than 20 combat rescue missions over the jungles of Southeast Asia,” Devillier said.