Arthur    Cormier  
  Rank, Service
Captain O-3E,  U.S. Air Force
  Veteran of:
U.S. Air Force 1954-1957, 1958-1984
U.S. Air Force Reserve 1957-1958
Cold War 1954-1984
Vietnam War 1965-1973 (POW)

Art Cormier was born in 1934 in Rumford, Maine, and grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, and Lincoln Park, New Jersey. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on April 23, 1954, and was trained in manpower management. He served an overseas tour in West Germany from May 1955 to November 1957, then briefly went into the Air Force Reserve before going back on active duty and serving at Suffolk County AFB, New York, from February 1958 to February 1960. From February 1960 to February 1961, Sgt Cormier was stationed at Minot AFB, North Dakota, and then went to Andrews AFB, Maryland, where he served as a Manpower Management Specialist with the 1001st Air Base Wing until March 1962. His next assignment was as a Manpower Management Specialist with Headquarters Command at Bolling AFB, Washington, D.C., from March 1962 to January 1963, followed by service as a Personal Equipment Supervisor with the 1001st Operations Group and 1001st Support Squadron at Andrews AFB from January to April 1963. SSgt Cormier next completed Pararescueman Training, and then served as a Pararescueman with the 48th Air Rescue Squadron at Eglin AFB, Florida, from March 1964 to October 1965, deploying once during this time to Southeast Asia. He then served as a Pararescueman with Detachment 5 of the 38th Air Rescue Squadron at Udorn Royal Thai AFB, Thailand, from October 1965 until the helicopter he was aboard was shot down during a rescue mission over North Vietnam on November 6, 1965. He was immediately captured and held as a Prisoner of War for the next 2,655 days until his release during Operation Homecoming on February 12, 1973. Cormier was promoted through the ranks to Senior Master Sergeant (E-8) during the time he was a POW, and was granted a direct commission as a 1st Lt by the President of the United States in May 1974. Lt Cormier completed his degree at Long Island University in June 1975 and was then assigned to Pease AFB, New Hampshire as the base fuel management officer. He served at Hahn AB, West Germany, from March 1977 to July 1980, and then at RAF Mildenhall in England until July 1983. Capt Cormier's final assignment was at Altus AFB, Oklahoma, where he served from July 1983 until his retirement from the Air Force on November 1, 1984.

His 1st (of 3) Silver Star Citation reads:

Staff Sergeant Arthur Cormier distinguished himself by gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force as Pararescue Technician aboard a rescue helicopter over North Vietnam on 6 November 1965. On that date, Sergeant Cormier voluntarily participated in a mission to recover a USAF pilot shot down over a hostile area known to contain numerous concentrations of antiaircraft batteries which would endanger any rescue efforts. As his unarmed aircraft approached the recovery area, it encountered heavy ground fire and burst into flames, forcing the crew to bail out. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Sergeant Cormier has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.


Prisoner of War, North Vietnam
6 November 1965 - 12 February 1973



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