Benjamin Knisely


Benjamin Knisely

COL Benjamin Knisely epitomizes the best in AMEDD aviation and our DUSTOFF tradition. At the battle of Hue-Phu Bai he was shot down while attempting a hoist mission in the Ashaw valley. For three days, with no food or water, he evaded capture. After evacuation and nine months of rehabilitation, Ben’s petition to remain on flight status was approved. Assigned to the 587th Air Ambulance Det. at Camp Zama Japan, he flew over 5316 patients, often as a single pilot in challenging weather. After a tour as a medical planner in the Pentagon, Ben commanded DUSTOFF Europe, where he oversaw initial fielding of UH-60 Black Hawks. Following a tour as the Surgeon General’s Aviation Consultant, he was assigned to CENTCOM and was critical in establishing the evacuation and hospitalization plans for Operation Desert Shield. General Schwarzkopf credited Ben as the “medical architect” for designing and assembling the largest network of aeromedical evacuation assets in combat history. Ben Knisely was inducted into the DUSTOFF Hall of Fame on 12 May 2012.