John J. Eldridge | Silver Star
Citation to accompany the award of the Silver Star Technical Sergeant John J. Eldridge.
Technical Sergeant (then Staff Sergeant) John J. Eldridge distinguished himself by gallantry in the all-volunteer Joint Chiefs of Staff directed United States Army and Air Force operation against an opposing armed force during the Prisoner of War Search and Rescue Operation at Son Tay, North Vietnam, on 21 November 1970. On that date, Sergeant Eldridge, as a Paramedic-Gunner, flew deep into the heart of enemy territory in a bold night attempt to rescue American Prisoners of War. Throughout the entire mission, he manned his position with bravery and aggressiveness while maintaining the critical fire discipline necessary for properly conducting this humanitarian operation. During the return flight, he performed a vital crew member function in the pickup of a downed fighter pilot. The personal skill and extreme courage displayed by Sergeant Eldridge in this very hazardous rescue attempt contributed immeasurably to the ultimate effectiveness and tactical success of the mission. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Sergeant Eldridge has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.