Bernard Lukasik was born on August 20, 1934, in Blakely, Pennsylvania. After completing 2 years of college at the University of Scranton, Pennsylvania, he enlisted in the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Air Force on September 16, 1954. Lukasik completed Undergraduate Pilot Training and was awarded his pilot wings on January 19, 1956, and then completed F-86 Sabre Combat Crew Training. His first assignment was with the 87th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Lockbourne AFB, Ohio, from June 1957 to August 1958, followed by an Air Force Institute of Technology assignment to complete his Bachelor's degree in Aeronautical Engineering from August 1958 to September 1960. Capt Lukasik served as a Research and Development Officer and Project Officer in the Atlas Ballistic Missile Division with the 6565th Test Wing at Vandenberg AFB, California, from September 1960 to March 1963, followed by service with the 319th Troop Carrier Squadron (Commando) at Eglin AFB, Florida, from April to June 1963. His next assignment was with the 1st Air Commando Squadron at Bien Hoa AB, South Vietnam, from July 1963 until he was killed in action on February 19, 1964. Bernard Lukasik was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
His Air Force Cross Citation reads:
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Title 10, Section 8742, United States Code, takes pride in presenting the Air Force Cross (Posthumously) to Captain Bernard Francis Lukasik (AFSN: 0-48211), United States Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force while serving with the 1st Air Commando Squadron, 34th Tactical Group, Bien Hoa Air Base, Vietnam, as a Advisor-Pilot of a T-28D aircraft on 18 February 1964. On that date, Captain Lukasik provided airpower against advancing Viet Cong guerrillas who were intent on capturing a Vietnamese airman who had bailed out of his burning aircraft. Despite the danger of hostile gun fire, Captain Lukasik continuously flew his aircraft at extremely low level and remained in the area until he was satisfied that the safety of the downed airman was assured. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Captain Lukasik reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.