Medal of Honor recipient attends Gathering of Eagles

Area Eagle Scouts from 1943 through 2010 were present during the annual Gathering of Eagles event Nov. 6 at Enterprise Mill. Retired Col. Leo Thorsness (center, wearing the Medal of Honor around his neck), an Eagle Scout himself, spoke to the group about the importance of Scouting.

Medal of Honor winner Leo Thorsness met with 17 area Eagle Scouts on Nov. 6 at Enterprise Mill during the Gathering of Eagles hosted by the Georgia-Carolina Council of Boy Scouts of America.

The annual gathering brought together those who earned the Eagle Scout award from 1943 through 2010.

Friday night, Thorsness, a retired Air Force colonel who was a POW for six years during the Vietnam War, was the guest speaker for the council's 10th annual Fleur-de-Lis event.

Thorsness is an Eagle Scout and received the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award this summer during the National Scout Jamboree.

During the gathering at Enterprise Mill, he signed copies of his book, Surviving Hell, in which he shares his experience as a POW in North Vietnam. His plane was shot down in 1967.

He was awarded the Medal of Honor for an action in April 1967 in which he saved two comrades who had been forced to parachute from their damaged plane. Thorsness downed two enemy aircraft and drove off two others in the engagement.

He was shot down 11 days after that action and taken prisoner.

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