TIERRA VERDE, Fla. - The United States Department of Defense awards top honors to recognize "acts of valor performed by Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines."
The U.S. Air Force's top three awards are the Medal of Honor, the Air Force Cross and the Silver Star.
During the first week of ‘Military May," FOX 13 is highlighting service members who received the Silver Star for gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States.
The first Silver Star was awarded in 1932 during World War I.
Below is the citation from the Department of Defense awarded to Retired Colonel Sam Martin, of Tierra Verde, the Silver Star for his actions on March 19th, 1967, during the Vietnam War:
"Major Samuel H. Martin distinguished himself by heroism while participating in aerial flight as an F-105 pilot over North Vietnam on 19 March 1967. On that date, Major Martin participated in a high-speed bombing attack against a vital thermal power plant, deep in hostile territory. Despite extremely low clouds, fog, and marginal visibility in hase, Major Martin bravely flew through intense hostile defenses to deliver his high explosive ordnance on target. Upon pull off and departure from the target, he was subjected to extensive antiaircraft artillery fire and successfully outmaneuvered a deadly SA-2 surface-to-air missile. The outstanding heroism and selfless devotion to duty displayed by Major Martin reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force."
Martin served 22 years in the US Air Force as a pilot. During the Vietnam War, he flew missions in an F-105 bomber. He received a total of four Silver Star awards during his career.