Arizona Aviation Hall of Fame
Born in Pilot Point, Texas on August 18, 1939, Fredrick E. Ferguson moved with his family to Phoenix, Arizona. Following his graduation in 1958 from Phoenix Union High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served as an Aviation Storekeeper until 1962. Ferguson’s military education included U.S. Army Aviation School, Armor Officer Basic Course, Armor Officer Advanced Course, and Army Command and General Staff College. In 1966, he was appointed Warrant Officer for the U.S. Army on Active Duty. He received his wings as Army Aviator in May 1967.
In 1967 he served in the Republic of Viet Nam as a helicopter Pilot/Aircraft Commander for the 1St Air Cavalry Division. It was during this tour of duty that a daring rescue earned him the Medal of Honor. Amid heavy fighting during the Tet Offensive on January 31, 1968, American soldiers in a UH-1 Huey helicopter were downed at a South Vietnamese compound. Once on the ground, they found themselves surrounded by attacking North Vietnamese. Warrant Officer Ferguson, flying a logistical mission nearby, joined the flight of gunships. He was advised —but not ordered — not to try, yet he went in, took many hits and successfully delivered his wounded passengers to a clinic at Phu Bai.
Named “Military Aviator of the Year,” awarded the “President’s Award,” inducted in the U.S. Army Aviation Hall of Fame, Frederick E. Ferguson has a long line of noteworthy honors, awards, and decorations. The Congressional Medal of Honor, Viet Nam Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star and the Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster are only a few of his most notable awards.
Long after Viet Nam, he served as a Major in the Arizona Army National Guard but reverted to Chief Warrant Officer rank in order to continue as a UH-1 instructor pilot. In civilian life, Frederick Ferguson was equally successful, working as an administrator for the Arizona Department of Veteran Services, an instructor pilot for the Arizona Army National Guard and Vice President and Sales Manager of the Arizona Janitor Supply Company.
Frederick Ferguson is an extraordinary man who is distinguished for his extraordinary courage in combat, gallantry, and determination.
Pima Air & Space Museum