April 19, 1967

1967: MEDAL OF HONOR–Maj Leo K. Thorsness earned his medal by protecting a mission to rescue downed airmen in North Vietnam. While flying an F-105 with low fuel, Thorsness shot down one MiG-17, damaged another, and drove off three more. Despite an urgent need for fuel, Thorsness decided to recover at a forward operating base to allow another aircraft in an emergency condition to refuel from a tanker. Two weeks later, enemy forces shot him down, captured him, and held him as a prisoner of war until 4 March 1973. After his military service, Thorsness served one term in the Washington State Senate.