COL Van T. Barfoot

"Above the Best"
barfoot van t col

Army Aviation Hall of Fame 2014 Induction - Nashville, TN

Congressional Medal of Honor Citation:

COL Van T. Barfoot received the Medal of Honor, Silver Star, three awards of Purple Heart and a battlefield commission to Second Lieutenant during WWII for the single handed capture of 17 German soldiers and killing eight others on May 23, 1944.

He completed flight training as a Major at the age of 40 in 1960 and was assigned to the legendary Howze Board which established Air Mobility and modern Army Aviation. During Vietnam, he again answered the Nation's call as the Deputy Aviation Officer, 1967-68, and flew 177 combat hours earning an Air Medal with two clusters and Legion of Merit.

He was a Senior Army Aviator in both fixed and rotary wing aircraft with just 14 years of aviation service. In retirement and among the last surviving Medal of Honor recipients of WWII, he faithfully raised and lowered "Old Glory" daily on the lawn of his modest Henrico, Virginia home. When ordered to take down his flagpole or face court action by the local homeowners association citing "curb appeal and aesthetics," he adamantly refused. Support poured in from across the nation, he stood his ground, the homeowners relented, dropped their case and his flag flew until he could raise it no more.

COL Barfoot passed away March 2, 2012 at the age of 92 a true patriot to the end.