Pitsenbarger sculptor to speak


TROY — Champaign County sculptor Mike Major will be the guest speaker at the 9 a.m., March 1 meeting of the Miami Valley Veterans Museum in Troy. All veterans and friends of veterans, as well as members of the public, are invited to attend. Admission is free.

Major’s figure of William Pitsenbarger was unveiled in 2019 at the Pitsenbarger Park on McKinley Ave. in Piqua. He is currently working on a bust of this Vietnam War, Medal of Honor hero for display at the Piqua Public Library.

“Personally there was, and is, a deep gratification and relief in doing these sculptures. That is because so many of my friends served in Vietnam. Like many others of my generation, I was called up for a physical immediately after graduating from Ohio University. As a resultof the physical, I was declared legally blind. I still felt that I owed something to my country. With the vision problem eventually addressed, I became a sculptor and was able to create works of art honoring one of the U.S. Air Forces’ greatest heroes.”

One of Pitsenbarger’s commanding officers in Vietnam, Maurice Kessler, said of Pitsenbarger, “One of a special breed. Alert and always ready to go on any mission.” Before he was fatally shot during a pararescue operation on April 11, 1966, Pitsenbarger had flown on almost 300 rescue missions to aid downed soldiers and pilots. In 1966, he was the first enlisted man to receive the Air Force Cross medal.

The museum is located at 2245 South County Road 25 A in Troy. A light breakfast is provided beginning at 8:30 a.m., courtesy of the Miami County Veterans Service Commission.

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