WASHINGTON (AP) — An airman killed in Laos in 1968 will be honored Tuesday with the nation's highest military award for valor.
President Barack Obama was to award the Medal of Honor to Chief Master Sgt. Richard Etchberger, whose sons planned to attend the White House ceremony.
Etchberger, a native of Hamburg, Pa., was an electronics expert with no formal combat training when he single-handedly held off an enemy force while evacuating wounded comrades. He had gotten three of the wounded into rescue slings and his helicopter had taken off when ground fire came through the floor and mortally wounded him.
The story was kept under wraps for decades because the Laos mission was secret.
The citation calls his action one of "immeasurable courage."
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