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Myrtle Beach in Horry County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Valor in Combat

Award of the Air Force Cross

 
 
Valor in Combat Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, March 18, 2017
1. Valor in Combat Marker
Inscription.
The highest award that the United States Air Force can bestow upon an individual for heroic action during combat is the Air Force Cross.

A pilot from the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing, Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, earned that award for his heroic actions in rescuing a downed Navy pilot during Desert Storm Air Combat Operations over Iraq. Captain Paul Johnson of Dresden, Tennessee, and his Wingman, Captain Randy Goff of Jackson, Ohio, flying A-10s, were tasked for a search and rescue operation involving a downed Navy pilot. The mission lasted more than eight hours and involved three aerial refuelings.

As the flight leader, Captain Johnson organized the rescue. He penetrated with his flight deep into enemy territory in search of the downed pilot. Captain Johnson destroyed three possible lraqi Scud missile sites while conducting the search. Upon location of the downed pilot, he directed the rescue helicopter to the site while providing air cover In the course of the rescue, an Iraqi truck that appeared to be approaching the downed pilot was also destroyed.

For his heroic actions, Captain Johnson (above right) was awarded the Air Force Cross. His wingman, Captain Goff (above left) was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Right: General John Michael Loh, Commander of the Tactical Air Command, presents
Valor in Combat Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, March 18, 2017
2. Valor in Combat Marker
the Air Force Cross to Captain Paul Johnson at a base ceremony in 1991.
 
Location. 33° 40.052′ N, 78° 56.381′ W. Marker is in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in Horry County. Marker is at the intersection of Hackler Street and Howard Avenue, on the left when traveling east on Hackler Street. Touch for map. Located in Market Common Valor Memorial Garden. Marker is in this post office area: Myrtle Beach SC 29577, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Prisoners of War and Missing in Action (a few steps from this marker); Lt Col Colin Arnold Clarke (a few steps from this marker); Desert Storm (a few steps from this marker); Captain Stephen Richard Phillis (a few steps from this marker); Myrtle Beach Air Force Base (within shouting distance of this marker); Brigadier General James Howell Howard (within shouting distance of this marker); Mr. Fred Nash (within shouting distance of this marker); The Cuban Missile Crisis (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Myrtle Beach.
 
Categories. War, 1st Iraq & Desert Storm
 
354th Tactical Fighter Wing image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, March 18, 2017
3. 354th Tactical Fighter Wing
The four diagonal stripes represent the squadrons that initially composed the unit. They also symbolize a singleness of purpose to accomplish the wing's mission. The red mustang indicates speed and swift striking power in battle; it also recalls that the 354th Fighter Group was the first to fly the P-51 operationally. The crossed swords represent tenacity, aggressiveness and readiness to accomplish the objective.
Valor in Combat

( nearby marker )
354th Tactical Fighter Wing Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, March 18, 2017
4. 354th Tactical Fighter Wing Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 20, 2017. This page originally submitted on March 20, 2017, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 68 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on March 20, 2017, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.
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