Bernie Fisher was born on January 11, 1927, in San Bernardino, California. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on February 10, 1945, and served until March 16, 1946. Fisher next enlisted in the Idaho Air National Guard on July 15, 1947, and served until he received a commission in the U.S. Air Force on June 11, 1951. After completing Undergraduate Pilot Training in April 1953, Fisher served as an interceptor pilot in Japan with Pacific Air Forces and then in Air Defense Command, flying out of Malmstrom AFB, Montana, and Homestead AFB, Florida. He began flying combat missions in Southeast Asia after transitioning into A-1 Skyraiders in 1965. Fisher flew with the 1st Air Commando Squadron out of Bien Hoa AB and then Pleiku AB, in the Republic of Vietnam from July 1965 to June 1966. During this time, Major Fisher flew 200 combat missions and was awarded the Medal of Honor for action in the A Shau Valley. After returning from Vietnam, Fisher served with the 496th Fighter Interceptor Squadron out of Hahn AB, West Germany, and then with the 525th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Bitburg AB, West Germany. In October 1969, he became Operations Officer with the 87th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Duluth International Airport, Minnesota, serving in this squadron until June 1971, when he became Senior Air Force Advisor for the 25th Air Division at Gowen Air National Guard Base in Boise, Idaho. Colonel Fisher retired from the Air Force on June 30, 1974. Bernie Fisher died on August 16, 2014.
His Medal of Honor Citation reads:
Place and date: Bien Hoa and Pleiku, Vietnam, 10 March 1966. For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. On that date, the Special Forces camp at A Shau was under attack by 2,000 North Vietnamese Army regulars. Hostile troops had positioned themselves between the airstrip and the camp. Other hostile troops had surrounded the camp and were continuously raking it with automatic weapons fire from the surrounding hills. The tops of the 1,500-foot hills were obscured by an 800 foot ceiling, limiting aircraft maneuverability and forcing pilots to operate within range of hostile gun positions, which often were able to fire down on the attacking aircraft. During the battle, Maj. Fisher observed a fellow airman crash land on the battle-torn airstrip. In the belief that the downed pilot was seriously injured and in imminent danger of capture, Maj. Fisher announced his intention to land on the airstrip to effect a rescue. Although aware of the extreme danger and likely failure of such an attempt, he elected to continue. Directing his own air cover, he landed his aircraft and taxied almost the full length of the runway, which was littered with battle debris and parts of an exploded aircraft. While effecting a successful rescue of the downed pilot, heavy ground fire was observed, with 19 bullets striking his aircraft. In the face of the withering ground fire, he applied power and gained enough speed to lift-off at the overrun of the airstrip. Maj. Fisher's profound concern for his fellow airman, and at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in the highest traditions of the U.S. Air Force and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.