Support our mission

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Joe Jackson, a Medal of Honor recipient, is visiting Yokota Air Base this week.

He’ll meet with several groups and attend a Medal of Honor Rededication Ceremony at the 374th Airlift Wing headquarters Friday.

Jackson is scheduled to have breakfast Wednesday with Route 56, a private non-commissioned officers’ organization, and the Yokota Junior Enlisted Council. A luncheon with the First Sergeants Council and Chiefs Group will be followed by an NCO Professional Development Seminar and a meeting with the Yokota High School Junior ROTC.

A Thursday appearance by Jackson at the base theater is open to the Yokota community.

Later that day, Jackson is slated to address the base’s Airman Leadership School, attend a Company Grade Officers’ Council luncheon and eat dinner with Col. Mark Schissler, the 374th Airlift Wing commander, and local Japanese dignitaries.

Jackson will be a guest on the Commander’s Corner radio show Friday Morning on Eagle 810 radio. He’ll also attend an enlisted promotion ceremony, and he’s also been invited to a luncheon sponsored by the Airlift Tanker Association.

The rededication ceremony is set for 3 p.m. at the flagpole in front of the wing headquarters building. The public is invited to attend.

The Medal of Honor monument is being rededicated for two reasons, said base spokeswoman 2nd Lt. Jessica Martin.

“We want to educate the Yokota community that there is such a monument on Yokota that lists all the Air Force Medal of Honor winners,” she said. “Also, we’re unveiling the new plaque which now has Airman 1st Class William Pitsenbarger’s name inscribed.

“There are many monuments out on Air Force installations which need updating, and we are making sure ours is done with dignity and celebration.”

Pitsenbarger, a 21-year-old pararescueman in Vietnam, was killed April 11, 1966, while defending some of his wounded comrades. He was posthumously awarded the Air Force Cross, but that was upgraded to the Medal of Honor in 2000 after more eyewitnesses to his actions came forward.

Jackson, a former combat pilot, received the Medal of Honor from President Lyndon Johnson on Jan. 16, 1969, for his actions in Vietnam.

In May 1968 at Kham Duc, he landed his C-123 on an airstrip under continuous enemy fire to rescue a three-man Air Force combat-control team. Under almost impossible landing and takeoff conditions, he brought them home safely.

Jackson is also a veteran of World War II and the Korean War.


Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up