WNYer awarded medal for saving the lives of 60 soldiers

Air Force Captain Ian Osterreicher
Air Force Captain Ian Osterreicher

VALDOSTA, GA. (WIVB) – A graduate of Williamsville East High School has received the Distinguished Flying Cross for saving the lives of 60 soldiers in Afghanistan.

Air Force Captain Ian Osterreicher was awarded the medal in a ceremony at Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, GA on Friday. He is a member of the 23rd Fighter Group, which last August saved 60 soldiers by flying continuous passes over a large enemy force that was attacking troops.

To keep the soldiers safe, Osterreicher had to fly his aircraft low to the ground and lay down fire, thereby avoiding hitting his own countrymen. He made 15 passes over a two-hour period until the enemy retreated.

His efforts saved lives and enabled the wounded to be taken to hospitals for treatment.

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