Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Valor in Combat

Marker ID:  
Location: intersection of Hackler St and Howard Ave, Myrtle Beach, SC
County: Horry
Coordinates: N 33° 40.052    W 078° 56.381
  33.66753333    -78.93968333


Valor in Combat

The highest award that the United States Air Force can bestow upon an individual for heroic action during combat is the Air Force Cross.

A pilot from the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing, Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, earned that award for his heroic actions in rescuing a downed Navy pilot during Desert Storm Air Combat Operations over Iraq. Captain Paul Johnson of Dresden, Tennessee, and his Wingman, Captain Randy Goff of Jackson, Ohio, flying A-10s, were tasked for a search and rescue operation involving a downed Navy pilot. The mission lasted more than eight hours and involved three aerial refueling.

As the flight leader, Captain Johnson organized the rescue. He penetrated with his flight deep into enemy territory in search of the downed pilot. Captain Johnson destroyed three possible lraqi Scud missile sites while conducting the search. Upon location of the downed pilot, he directed the rescue helicopter to the site while providing air cover In the course of the rescue, an Iraqi truck that appeared to be approaching the downed pilot was also destroyed.

For his heroic actions, Captain Johnson (above right) was awarded the Air Force Cross. His wingman, Captain Goff (above left) was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Right: General John Michael Loh, Commander of the Tactical Air Command, presents the Air Force Cross to Captain Paul Johnson at a base ceremony in 1991.


Located in Market Common Valor Memorial Garden