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We are excited to be developing, and almost finished with, Pless Landing in Navy Point! This project is one that is near and dear to us because of the story it brings with it. Named after Stephen Pless, Pless Landing is more than townhomes; it is a slice of history we are honored to be a part of.

Major Stephen Pless, Medal of Honor winner and Vietnam War Hero, is the name’s sake to aDoor Properties’ Pless Landing. Even though Maj. Pless was born in Georgia, he called Pensacola home. He and his wife lived in Pensacola until his death in 1969, and he is buried at Barrancas National Cemetery, just around the corner from Navy Point.

Maj. Pless, at the time, Captain Pless, was a Marine Corps pilot. For his time fighting in the Vietnam War, he not only was presented the Congressional Medal of Honor by President Lyndon B. Johnson, but he was given a Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Purple Heart, and 32 Air Medals. He flew over 780 combat missions and was the only Marine aviator awarded the Medal of Honor in the entirety of the Vietnam War.

During an escort mission in Vietnam, Maj. Pless heard an emergency call that four American soldiers were stranded on a nearby beach. No other aviators within radio signal made the decision to help, because it was a suicide mission from the start. In fact, the men were left by stranded there by their own transport unit, fearing further casualties from enemy advances and not enough time to escape. Pless and his crew: Captain Rupert E. Fairfield, Gunnery Sergeant Leroy N. Poulson, and crew chief Lance Corporal John G. Phelps, unanimously agreed to attempt to rescue the men, holding others’ lives over their own. They then launched their attack, displaying airmanship and courage, as they flew at low levels and through explosions. At one point, Pless even landed his helicopter between a wounded American soldier and incoming fire to allow the crew to rescue the wounded soldier from the beach. Constantly pushing the 30 to 50 enemy soldiers backwards, he was finally able to retrieve all the wounded, and take off. The helicopter, now overloaded, had to land multiple times in the water, hopping its way out to sea and to safety. From there, his quick decision-making skills and acts of heroism allowed the entire crew, and all four American soldiers, to return to safety.

While we may never be able to match the acts of Valor that Maj. Pless and his crew exemplified that day, but we can surely honor them. Pless Landing, whose road names are John Phelps Lane, Leroy Poulson Lane, and Rupert Fairfield Lane, is a memento of history, that Pensacola can be proud of for years to come.