Chief Master Sergeant Richard L. Etchberger


On 11 March 1968, Chief Master Sergeant Richard L. Etchberger was manning a defensive position when the base was overrun by an enemy ground force.

The enemy was able to deliver sustained and withering fire directly upon this position from higher ground.

His entire crew dead or wounded, Chief Etchberger continued to return the enemy's fire thus denying them access to the position.

During this entire period, Chief Etchberger continued to direct air strikes and call for air rescue on his emergency radio, thereby enabling the air evacuation force to locate the surrounded friendly element.

When air rescue arrived, Chief Etchberger deliberately exposed himself to enemy fire in order to place his three surviving wounded comrades in the rescue slings permitting them to be airlifted to safety.

As Chief Etchberger was finally being rescued, he was fatally wounded, by enemy ground fire. His fierce defense which culminated in the supreme sacrifice of his life, saved not only the lives of his three comrades but provided for the successful evacuation of the remaining survivors of the base

 

Visit the Chief Etchberger Document
at the U.S. Air Force Enlisted Heritage Hall
Gunter AFB, Montgomery, Alabama

 

Additional pictures taken at the Exhibit Dedication on 12 May 2000 
and a trip to Hanoi in 1999 provided by Dr. Timothy Castle

 

Pictures taken at the Dedication, Lackland AFB, Texas
14 June 2006 

                  

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