Vietnam Veteran Awarded Bronze Star with Valor

Placido Salazar, a retired airman, earlier this month received the Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device for his heroic actions when his air base came under attack in South Vietnam in 1965. Retired Col. Colin Chauret, a former commander of Salazar, pinned the Bronze Star on Salazar during the Feb. 15 ceremony at JBSA-Randolph, Tex., according to Randolph’s Feb. 26 release. Salazar also received a Purple Heart at the ceremony. On Aug. 21, 1965, Salazar, who decrypted classified messages as a member of the 4080th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., was deployed to Bien Hoa AB, South Vietnam. The base came under attack. Salazar secured an encrypted message he was holding and then brought his previously injured commander from a nearby building to the underground command post bunker, states the release. Salazar then helped two other senior officers to safety in the face of the enemy fire, states the release. At one point during the firefight, Salazar was knocked unconscious after slipping. Upon waking, he secured more officers and then guarded the command post until relieved. Salazar retired from the Air Force in 1976 after 20 years of service, states the release. (Randolph report by Alex Salinas)