HARRY S. COPPERTHITE, JR.
Final Flight on January 29, 1982
Harry S. Copperthite, Jr., Colonel, USAF (Retired)
March 25, 1928 - January 29, 1982
Colonel Harry S. Copperthite, Jr. served with the 40th ARRS in Vietnam 1970 - 1971. He died at age 53 from Cancer. He was awarded the Silver Star, among others. He in intered at Arlington.
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 8, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Lieutenant Colonel Harry S. Copperthite, Jr., United States Air Force, for gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force near Tchepone, Laos, on 13 March 1971. On that date, Colonel Copperthite, as the aircraft commander of an HH-53C Rescue Helicopter, attempted the rescue of a wounded United States Navy Pilot from certain death or capture by hostile armed forces. With full knowledge that two other helicopters had been driven off by ground fire, and with complete disregard for his own personal safety, Colonel Copperthite attempted the rescue pick-up and was driven from his objective by withering ground fire which crippled his helicopter and wounded himself and one other crew member, making continued rescue attempts impossible. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Colonel Copperthite has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force