Retired Brig. Gen. Frank Cardile (left) congratulates retired New York Air National Guard Chief Master Sgt. Dennis M. Richardson after presenting Richardson with the Air Force Cross on April 5 at Francis S. Gabreski Airport, Westhampton Beach, N.Y. Richardson was awarded the medal, the Air Force's second highest award for valor, because of his actions during a March 1968 mission to rescue downed Airmen in Vietnam. Col. Michael F. Canders, 106th Rescue Wing Commander, is at right.
Cardile, who flew on the rescue mission that Richarson was honored for, praised his heroism and steadfastness under fire.
During the mission Richardson stood exposed in the door of an HH-53 "Jolly Green Giant" helicopter to fight off North Vietnamese troops who were attempting to board the helicopter.