Nearly three decades after the bombing of U.S. military barracks in Beirut, an Air Force doctor credited with saving the lives of many of the wounded has finally received a medal.
“I didn’t do anything special. I was just doing my job,” Alfred W. Studwell, 79, of Stone Mountain, Ga., told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
after he finally received his Air Medal for extraordinary conduct.
As a colonel in the Air Force, Studwell was the only doctor aboard a C-9 flight that evacuated 24 wounded Marines from Lebanon to hospitals in Germany, the AJC said. He supervised a crew of 10 that performed emergency first aid after the Oct. 23, 1983, bombing.
Without Studwell, “many more would have perished,” said Mike Towe, who credits the doctor with saving his life.
In 2008, former Air Force pilot Joe Bunker realized that Studwell was the only crewman on that hellish flight who had not received an Air Medal. Bunker brought the omission to the attention of military brass. It took a while, but Studwell recently received his medal.
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