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First Name: John

Last Name: Priestner

Birthplace: Paterson, NJ, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Richard

Date of Birth: 08 July 1964

Date of Death: 06 November 2006

Rank: Chief Warrant Officer 4

Years Served:
John Richard Priestner

•  Gulf War (1990 - 1991)
•  Afghanistan War (Operation Enduring Freedom) (2001 - present)
•  Iraq War (Operation Iraqi Freedom) (2003 - 2011)


John Richard Priestner
Chief Warrant Officer 4, U.S. Army

John Richard Priestner was born on 8 July 1964, in Paterson, NJ, a twin brother of Roger, and son of Richard and Linnea Priestner. He grew up in LeRaysville in Bradford County, PA, and graduated from Northeast Bradford High School in Rome, PA, with the Class of 1982. Following graduation, John attended Keystone College in La Plume, PA.

After enlisting and serving in the U.S. Air Force for two years, he received an honorable discharge. John then entered into the U.S. Army Reserve and became a helicopter pilot with the rank of Warrant Officer 1. His flying career began as an AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopter pilot and he later transitioned to the AH-64 Attack Helicopter.

John was a veteran of Operation Desert Storm in the Gulf War, serving with the First Cavalry Division and later, with the Pennsylvania National Guard. After a transfer to Fort Bragg, NC, from November 2002 - August 2003, John served in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

On 22 July 2006, CW4 Priestner was serving with Alpha Company, 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, at Fort Bragg, when he was deployed to Iraq to serve his third tour in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

During a night flight on 6 November 2006, CW4 Priestner was the pilot-in-command of the lead AH-64 Apache Attack Helicopter of a 2-ship combat mission when his helicopter impacted the ground during a turn while returning to home base. A post-crash fire ensued. The crash was reportedly due to deteriorating weather conditions. The accident occurred near Balad in Salah ad-Din Province. [http://www.armyaircrews.com/apache.html]

CW4 Priestner and CW2 Miles P. Henderson [Honoree Record ID 6480] were both killed in the crash.

Medals, Awards and Badges

Bronze Star Medal
Air Medal with Award Numeral 4
Army Commendation Medal
National Defense Service Medal with 2 Bronze Stars
Southwest Asia Service Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Iraq Campaign Medal with 2 Bronze Service Stars
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia)
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)
Army Master Aviator Badge


On 30 January 1988, Richard married Teresa Lutz at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Little Meadows, PA. Together they had two daughters: Breanne and Megan.


Chief Warrant Officer Four John Richard Priestner is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, in Section 60, Site 8526.

Honoree ID: 6481   Created by: MHOH




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