John Pighini | Silver Star
Citation to accompany the award of the Silver Star to Airman Second Class John Pighini.
Airman Second Class John Pighini distinguished himself by gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force in Southeast Asia on 2 and 3 July 1967. On these dates, Airman Pighini, a Pararescue Specialist on an unarmed HH-3E Rescue Helicopter, participated in the successful recovery of an Air Force pilot downed deep in hostile territory. With great determination and unwavering courage, Airman Pighini exposed himself to hostile fire until he successfully located the downed pilot’s position. Battle damage to the Rescue Helicopter and approaching darkness prevented a successful recovery of the survivor on 2 July. At sunrise on 3 July, Airman Pighini unhesitatingly returned to the recovery area, despite the knowledge that hostile forces would be aware of his return. With complete disregard for his own personal safety, Airman Pighini hovered over the downed pilot’s position in survivor could be hoisted safely aboard the Rescue Helicopter. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Airman Pighini has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.