Photo caption: Senator Fuschillo (right) presents Wantagh resident Raymond Bender (left) with the New York State Conspicuous Service Cross medal and certificate, which were posthumously awarded to his brother, Corporal Emil Bender.
State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (8th Senate District) today presented Wantagh resident Raymond Bender with the New York State Conspicuous Service Cross which was posthumously awarded to his brother, Air Force Corporal Emil Bender. Senator Fuschillo helped Mr. Bender apply for the award to honor his late brother’s sacrifice in the line of duty.
Corporal Bender was serving as a crew chief at a California Air Force base in 1950 when a B-29 bomber crash landed on the base’s runway. Recognizing that the burning plane was carrying ten 500 pound bombs, he helped evacuate the area and tried to extinguish the blaze. Sadly, the plane exploded, killing Corporal Bender and 16 other men. Corporal Bender’s heroic actions were credited with saving the lives of many of his co-workers and members of the plane’s crew.
Corporal Bender, who also served in the Navy during World War II, was previously awarded the Airman’s Medal, the American Theatre Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, and the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre Medal.
“Corporal Bender bravely put himself in harm’s way, fully aware of the risks, to save the lives of his fellow soldiers. He is an American hero, and I am pleased to join with his family in honoring his sacrifice and service to our country,” said Senator Fuschillo.