John W. Stephens | Silver Star
Citation to accompany the award of the Silver Star to Sergeant John W. Stephens.
Sergeant John W. Stephens distinguished himself by gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force near Saravane, Laos on 21 December 1972. On that date, Sergeant Stephens, a Pararescue Specialist on an HH-53C Rescue Helicopter, voluntarily flew into hostile territory under conditions of darkness and without the protection of Rescue Escort aircraft to accomplish the first Night Recovery System rescue of two American airmen. Knowing full well the presence of hostile forces, Sergeant Stephens unhesitatingly descended 150 feet into the dense jungle to assist on of the survivors in acquiring the rescue device. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Sergeant Stephens has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.