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Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

Award of Air Force Cross to Richard L. Etchberger

 
 
Award of Air Force Cross to Richard L. Etchberger Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, June 23, 2016
1. Award of Air Force Cross to Richard L. Etchberger Marker
Inscription.  
Citation to Accompany the Award of
The Air Force Cross
to

Richard L. Etchberger

Chief Master Sergeant Richard L. Etchberger distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force on 11 March 1968. On this date, Sergeant 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, Sergeant Etchberger continued to return the enemy’s fore thus denying them access to his position. During this entire period, Sergeant Etchberger continued to direct air strikes and call fro Air Rescue on his emergency radio, thereby enabling the air evacuation force to locate the surrounded friendly element. When Air Rescue arrived, Sergeant Etchberger deliberately exposed himself to enemy fire in order to place his three
Wide view of AF Cross memorial plaques. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, June 23, 2016
2. Wide view of AF Cross memorial plaques.
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surviving wounded comrades in the rescue slings permitting them to be airlifted to safety. As Sergeant 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. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, Sergeant Etchberger reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
 
Erected 2004 by Maxwell-Gunter AFSNCOA Class 04-E.
 
Topics. This memorial is listed in these topic lists: Air & SpaceCommunicationsHeroes.
 
Location. 32° 24.255′ N, 86° 14.969′ W. Marker is in Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, in Montgomery County. Memorial can be reached from the intersection of McDonald Street and Avenue D. Located at the USAF Senior NCO Academy & Enlisted Heritage Hall on Gunter AFB and requires base access. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 550 McDonald Street, Montgomery AL 36114, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance
Enlisted Heritage Memorial Park (AF Cross Monuments nearby) image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, June 23, 2016
3. Enlisted Heritage Memorial Park (AF Cross Monuments nearby)
of this marker. Award of Air Force Cross to Nacey Kent Jr (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Dennis M. Richardson (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Larry W. Maysey (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Eugene L. Clay (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Thomas A. Newman (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Joel E. Talley (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Russell M. Hunt (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Duane D. Hackney (here, next to this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Maxwell Air Force Base.
 
Regarding Award of Air Force Cross to Richard L. Etchberger. Originally recommended for the Medal of Honor, instead was awarded the AF Cross secretly. This was due to the US position that politically we were NOT in Laos, where CMSgt. Etchberger was killed. In 2010 it was upgraded to the Medal of Honor.
 
Also see . . .
1. Wikipedia article on Richard L. Etchberger. Contains the Medal of Honor Citation. (Submitted on June 30, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
AF Cross exhibit located at nearby Enlisted Heritage Hall. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, June 29, 2016
4. AF Cross exhibit located at nearby Enlisted Heritage Hall.
 

2. Chief Etchberger Foundation biography. (Submitted on June 30, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
CMSgt. Richard L. Etchberger image. Click for full size.
By USAF Photo, August 2, 2010
5. CMSgt. Richard L. Etchberger
Monument added to show the AF Cross upgraded to the Medal of Honor. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 13, 2018
6. Monument added to show the AF Cross upgraded to the Medal of Honor.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 30, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 408 times since then and 46 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on June 30, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.   6. submitted on April 19, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.

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Jul. 31, 2021