Lieutenant Colonel (then Captain) Anthony "Tony" Shine, a native of Pleasantville, NY, was a member of the 355th Tactical Fighter Squadron when the A-7D he was piloting disappeared beneath a cloud covering over the border of North Vietnam and Laos. He had deployed with the 355th to Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand for his second tour of duty in Vietnam in October 1972.
On December 2, Lt. Col. Shine was the lead pilot on a combat mission. After arriving at the target area, he advised his wingman that he was going to descend a cloud covering to perform visual reconnaissance. Shortly thereafter, the wingman lost radio contact with him. When Lt. Col. Shine's estimated fuel time had elapsed an extensive search and rescue operation was initiated with negative results. He was declared Missing In Action.
Lt. Col. Shine remained unaccounted for until 1995, when his remains were repatriated for honorable burial at Arlington National Cemetery. The United States Air Force top gun award was established in honor of Lt. Col. Shine and all Prisoners of War and Missing in Action from the Vietnam Conflict. Each year, the Lt. Col. Anthony C. Shine Award is presented to the United States Air Force pilot who has demonstrated superior professionalism and proficiency in flying a tactical fighter aircraft, and who has a high
caliber of moral character and demonstrated community service.