James Robinson Risner

Risner in 1973 after being released as a POW by the North Vietnamese James Robinson "Robbie" Risner (January 16, 1925 – October 22, 2013) was a Brigadier General, fighter pilot in the United States Air Force, and a senior leader among U.S. prisoners of war during the Vietnam War.

During the Vietnam War, Risner was a double recipient of the Air Force Cross, the second highest military decoration for valor that can be awarded to a member of the United States Air Force, awarded the first for valor in aerial combat and the second for gallantry as a prisoner of war of the North Vietnamese for more than seven years. He was the first living recipient of the medal.

Risner became an ace in the Korean War and commanded a squadron of F-105 Thunderchiefs in the first missions of Operation Rolling Thunder in 1965. He flew a combined 163 combat missions, was shot down twice, and was credited with destroying eight MiG-15s. Risner retired as a brigadier general in 1976.

At his death, Air Force Chief of Staff General Mark A. Welsh III observed: "Brig. Gen. James Robinson "Robbie" Risner was part of that legendary group who served in three wars, built an Air Force, and gave us an enduring example of courage and mission success... Today's Airmen know we stand on the shoulders of giants. One of 'em is 9 feet tall... and headed west in full afterburner." Provided by Wikipedia
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