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16 February, 2009
US Distinguished Flying Cross
  • Distinguished Flying Medal Executive Order 4601 – Mar 1, 1927 and Executive Order 4601 – Mar 1, 1927
  • Cold War Hero Honoured with DFC
  • Shamokin native waits more than half a century for medals William R. Kelser awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and four air medals Dec 01
  • Distinguished Flying Cross Society Contains history, citations and info on DFC
  • Rear Adm. Everett "Mouse" Link has died aged 87 Awarded DFC Apr 02

  • DFC awarded to WWII Veteran Bob Tharratt more than 50 years after being shot down in the skies over Nuremberg and spending the remainder of the war near starvation in a Nazi prisoner of war camp, Army Air Force veteran Tharratt will finally be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross during a Walnut Creek Veterans Day ceremony for saving Lowry's life by helping him bail out during the Sept. 10, 1944, mission. He will also receive a prisoner of war medal. Nov 00

  • French recognize Vallejoans contribution of D-Day Dave Conger has been awarded a medal by the French government for the role he played in D-Day as a bomber pilot. Conger flew his first combat mission as lead pilot of a B-24 bomber squadron on June 6, 1944 -- more commonly known as D-Day. His mission was to fly behind the invasion beach and destroy a German railroad and reinforcement point for the front. Before the war was over, Conger had flown 30 combat missions over military targets in Germany and France. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medial with four Oak Leaf Clusters. Mar 02

  • WWII medal display will preserve family W.C. "Bud" Mulcahy DFC (for completing 20 combat missions in the western Pacific between March 29 and June 19, 1945, Air Medal with three stars, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with two Bronze Stars. Apr 02
  • Distinguished Flying Cross Recipient articles  Air Force Magazine
  • Distinguished Flying Cross Society Contains lots of information regarding the DFC
  • Captain J. Royden Stork has died, aged 85  More Co-pilot of a B-25 bomber took part in a daring raid on Tokyo on April 18, 1942, and who later went on to become a Hollywood makeup artist. Stork was among a dozen or so of the fewer than two dozen remaining members of the Doolittle Raiders Association. Discharged from the military in 1946 with the rank of captain, after earning the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal and the Chinese Army, Navy and Air Corps Medal Class A First Grade, which was presented to him by Madame Chiang Kai-shek. May 02

  • Maj. Gen. Paul Lebras, Air Intelligence Agency commander, pins the Distinguished Flying Cross on retired Air Force Senior Master Sgt. John D. Goolsbee Sr. Nov. 14 at a ceremony at AIA. Goolsbee was awarded the medal for his participation in a highly classified mission on Sept. 17, 1952, more than 50 years after he earned it. (Photo by Boyd Belcher)

    Cold War warrior receives Distinguished Flying Cross
     John D. Goolsbee Sr., a retired senior master sergeant, was awarded his second Distinguished Flying Cross on Nov. 14 during a ceremony at the Air Intelligence Agency here. The San Antonio resident previously received the DFC in 1945 during World War II. Like his first DFC, Goolsbee earned this one for his participation in a single mission. During the course of that mission on Sept. 17, 1952, Goolsbee, then a technical sergeant assigned to the 38th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, and 11 other crewmembers on board an RB-50 reconnaissance aircraft flew 14 hours over the Franz Joseph Archipelago in the Soviet Union, collecting sensitive intelligence data. Besides the two DFC medals, Goolsbee is also the recipient of the Air Medal with 10 oak leaf clusters, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the European Theater of Operation Medal with five battle stars, the American Defense Medal, the American Theater of Operation Medal, and the World War Two Victory Medal. Photo by Boyd Belcher Nov 02
  • 17 receive high honors for heroism Seventeen members of the 66th and 58th Rescue Squadrons here were honored recently for their heroic actions and bravery in aerial flight while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. The Distinguished Flying Cross, one of the military's highest combat decorations, was awarded to: Maj. John Galik; Capts. Brent Beaulieu, John Mangan, Phillip Swenson and Jeremey Turner; Tech. Sgts. Troy Durocher, Patrick Harding and Robert Sullivan; Staff Sgts. Michael Ames, Michael Darin, Caleb Etheridge, Joshua Faine, Joshua Fetters, Gaylord Howe Jr., Robert Roberts III and Gregory Sisco; and Senior Airman Michael Flores. The airmen were recognized for their roles in two separate missions during Operation Anaconda in March in Afghanistan. (Nov 02)
  • Distinguished Flying Cross - Francis Hoad had just turned 20 when he took his first flight mission in the Army Air Corps. As co-pilot of a B-17 Flying Fortress on a mission Jan. 11, 1944, over Oschersleben, Germany, the young captain helped save the crew and plane by landing the crippled bomber using only the autopilot controls. He survived that flight as well as 13 months as a prisoner of war. On Friday, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe and Rep. Frank Lucas presented Hoad, of Enid, with the Distinguished Flying Cross for that 1944 mission. (Nov 02)
  • Maj. Gen. Ralph Scott Saunders has died aged 80 A command pilot with more than 11,000 flying hours, the retired U.S. Air Force major general flew 35 combat missions while serving in England with the 491st Bombardment Group during World War II. He flew 70 combat transport missions in support of the Korean War. Saunders commanded the largest airlift wing of the Military Airlift Command, the 60th Military Airlift Wing at Travis AFB in California, and he led the Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service at Scott AFB in Illinois. His military awards include the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Air Medal with 12 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Unit Citation, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with two oak leaf clusters, and the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation.. More Dec 02
  • 2 reservists to receive medals for heroism Tech Sgt. Eric Olson will receive the Distinguished Flying Cross for helping to safely land a C-17 after it was struck by enemy fire while trying to fly out of Baghdad International Airport on Dec. 9, 2003. Olson tended to a wounded passenger and prepared the other 12 passengers for an emergency landing. Tech. Sgt. Robert Withrow will receive the Airmen's Medal for quickly extinguishing a fire that engulfed the landing gear of a C-17 during landing on April 16, 2003, in Uzbekistan. Withrow saved the lives of six crew members by grabbing fire extinguishers in both hands and rushing underneath the aircraft. seattletimes.nswsource.com 8 Jan 05

  • Tail gunner receives overdue recognition In 1944, a precocious 20-year-old Navy tail gunner named Norman Ross received his first Air Medal amid much pomp, circumstance and dignified speeches by uniformed officers in a ceremony at the base in Dunkeswell, England. When Ross picked up the medals the Navy overlooked -- two Distinguished Flying Crosses and nine more Air Medals -- the only person in uniform stood behind the counter at the Federal Express warehouse in Delray Beach. "After 60 years, they tell me to go pick them up at Federal Express," said Ross, who sent his carefully preserved flight log books to the Navy this year after hearing about another veteran belatedly awarded medals. "They should have an admiral deliver it to my door!" Five missions equal one air medal, and 12 missions merit the Distinguished Flying Cross. Five missions equal one air medal, and 12 missions merit the Distinguished Flying Cross. Dec 02
  • Pilot awarded medal for heroism Maj. Brant Bond, a pilot with the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 251 Thunderbolts was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions after receiving word from ground troops who were under heavy Taliban fire, destroyed several anti-aircraft weapons and sent the Taliban scattering. Dec 02
  • 3 decades later, pilot gets medal for Vietnam heroics Distinguished Flying Cross recipient Robert Harris (center) with retired Air Force Col. James Gibbar, Harris' former copilot, left; and retired Gen. Leslie Forney. During his one-year stint in Southeast Asia, Harris flew classified missions over Cambodia as part of a unit known as ''the Rustics.'' They flew Cessna Skymasters, small dual-engine, prop planes. Their task was to gather intelligence and relay it to gunships and bombers so that North Vietnamese supply routes could be bombed and support given to Cambodian forces fighting the Khmer Rouge. Miami Herald, FL - 28 Mar 2003
  • Retired pilot to get medal 32 years later James M. Gibbar will soon be recognized for a secret mission he flew during the Vietnam War. The retired Air Force pilot, who lives in O'Fallon, initially was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross after flying the classified mission Feb. 23, 1971. Gibbar served as a colonel for 21 of the 32 years he spent in the Air Force between 1967 and 2000 and earned two other Distinguished Flying Crosses. Jan 03
  • F-117 pilots receive Distinguished Flying Cross for first strike mission Two F-117A Nighthawk pilots from the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing at a forward-deployed desert air base in the Middle East were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross recently for extraordinary achievement while flying in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.On the opening day of the air campaign Lt. Col. David Toomey and Maj. Mark Hoehn flew the first strike mission which targeted a senior Iraqi leadership compound in Baghdad where intelligence sources believed Saddam Hussein and other top regime leaders were staying. President George W. Bush approved the target. Air Combat Command News Service 21 Apr 03

  • Local heroes: Area residents receive commendations for bravery, valor in Iraq Three local residents who served in the armed forces in Iraq recently earned military decorations for valor or meritorious action in combat. Army Sgt. Jessica Smee of Stafford was awarded the Bronze Star. She was awarded her Bronze Star for providing emergency medical aid to an Iraqi she found mortally wounded on the roadside. Superiors recommended Smee for the decoration for her work sending communications back to the base and diffusing the situation in a "culturally sensitive manner" to other Iraqis on the scene when the man died from his injuries. Marine Col. Lewis Craparotta of South Windsor also earned the Bronze Star with Combat Valor. The award citation for Craparotta's medal states that he "repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire, completely disregarding his own personal safety." In addition, superiors recommended Craparotta for the medal for his involvement in another attack, when his unit stormed the enemy held town of Qulat Sukkur, allowing other combat units to pass. "His aggressiveness and superb conduct under fire ensured the route was secured for over 10 hours," his citation stated. "Between 7 and 10 April 2003, he courageously led his battalion in continuous attacks through eastern Baghdad." Army Chief Warrant Officer James Hosey of Enfield was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Hosey, 41, of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, could not disclose more than the bare facts that led him to earn his medal due to the classified nature of his service. Hosey flies close-support attack helicopters, called AH-6 "little birds," on commando-style raids with various special operations units. Hosey did, however, describe his role in a nighttime raid on a suspected biological weapons complex that led to his earning the Distinguished Flying Cross. "During the infiltration of a suspected weapons facility, six of our 10 aircraft got pretty shot up," he said. "My wingman and I gave suppressing fire, got everybody in, and then everybody out." This is Hosey's seventh medal for heroism in combat. He has also served on missions in Afghanistan. zwire.com 24 Jan 05

  • B-1 crew receives Distinguished Flying Cross for leadership strike Four Ellsworth B-1 crew members that struck a “target of opportunity” believed to be the site of a high-level Iraqi leadership meeting April 7, received Distinguished Flying Crosses. Capt. Chris Wachter, aircraft commander; Capt. Sloan Hollis, pilot; and weapon systems officers 1st Lt. Joe Runci, and Lt. Col. Fred Swan flew the bomber, nicknamed “Seek and Destroy.” During the almost 11-hour sortie, the crew struck 17 separate targets using two versions of precision-guided munitions. ir Combat Command News Service 22 Apr 03
  • Fate finally lands WWII vet medals John Kirsch, a retired Army Air Corps captain, was awarded not one, but seven medals Friday night for courageous acts he performed six decades ago. Among the medals given to him by U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard, was the Distinguished Flying Cross, one of the most prestigious military awards. The Coloradoan, CO - 10 May 2003

  • South Georgia airman receives top honors Captain Yonel Dorelis was presented with the Distinguished Flying Cross for his heroic efforts in Operation Enduring Freedom. He returned to Moody Air Force Base in March 2002 after a two and a half month deployment to Afghanistan, where he rescued three soldiers wounded in combat. WALB-TV, GA 1 Mar 2003

  • Award Means More Than Individual Recognition for Pilot Awards embody military tradition, signifying places, battles, competence and bravery. To honor actions above and beyond the call of duty in aerial combat, the Navy presents the Distinguished Flying Cross. For Distinguished Flying Cross recipient Lt. Andrew P. Hayes of Elgin, Ill., the rewards of performing honorably go beyond the medal he wears on his uniform. On what began as a routine flight one night, Hayes’ aircraft launched from the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). The Roosevelt battle group was underway in the North Arabian Sea, supporting coalition efforts in Afghanistan. It seemed as if an uneventful mission lay ahead. Things changed, however, when Hayes spotted a large mass of Taliban tanks and other armored vehicles three kilometers from a U.S. special operations unit. Hayes knew he had to do something to protect the U.S. troops' position. When he directed his attacks, he chose the flank closest to the friendly troops, driving the enemy away. Although fuel was low and he was under enemy anti-aircraft and small arms fire, Hayes continued to direct attacks and track the enemy’s position. Six hours later, with the mission completed, 25 tanks and armored vehicles lay destroyed and enemy ground forces had been routed away, crippling the Taliban's ability to attack. (Jan 03)
  • Modesto native receives medal Joseph Simile Jr. is a hero, during a ceremony last week in Texas, Maj. Simile received the Distinguished Flying Cross, one of the highest awards that can be awarded to military pilots. Earning the medal was a life-and-death proposition that involved dodging four enemy surface-to-air missiles (Feb 03)
  • Sailor Receives War Medals - 59 Years Later More than 50 years have passed since Chief Aviation Ordanceman Royce Hall earned three Distinguished Flying Cross medals and 13 Air Medals for his bravery and service in World War II. Hall enlisted in the Navy in 1940 at the age of 17, and served as a torpedo plane gunner throughout the war. Hall left the Navy a highly decorated veteran, earning two Presidential Unit Citations, American Combat Action Ribbon and American Campaign Medal. Hall took part in several key missions during World War II, including the battles for Leyte Gulf, Marianas Islands, and Samar, Philippines. Other awards include the American Defense Service Medal with Fleet Clasp, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with three bronze stars, Navy Good Conduct Medal with one bronze star, the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation and the Honorable Service Lapel Button.  NavNews  15 May 03
  • Medal Delay 30 years, that's how long one Vietnam War hero waited to receive a medal for bravery. In the late 1960's Joe Silvia was an attack helicopter pilot in Vietnam.  On a routine mission he came under fire and his helicopter crashed.  "I remember getting out of the helicopter, falling out. It was pretty much of a mess, it was a total loss, and starting to move and I heard my co-pilot calling my name and I realized he was back there." Joe Silvia ran back into the flames, pulled his co-pilot out, saving his life. For his bravery he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross . . . But 30 years later he still didn't have it. WAFF, AL - 23 May 2003
  • Stolen Medal Returned In Old Sock A week after a Distinguished Flying Cross medal was stolen from a memorial, someone put it back wrapped in an old sock. Al Ciurczak, was awarded two Distinguished Flying Cross medals for his missions aboard B-24 Liberators based in the Aleutian Islands. NBC4.TV, CA 10 Jul 03

    Coast Guard honors rescue swimmer, crew A Coast Guard rescue swimmer who helped save five commercial fishermen from the Bering Sea has been honored with a medal. Aviation Survival Technician Jason Quinn of Ashburnham, Mass. was presented with the Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions Oct. 20 during fires on board the fishing vessel Galaxy. Peninsulaclarion.com, AK - 3 Jun 2003

    • Airmen to receive medals for heroism Thirty-five airmen at Charleston Air Force Base received the Distinguished Flying Cross on Tuesday for their heroism in the Afghanistan war. In addition, Lt. Col. Steve Groenheim (photo left), commander of the 437th Airlift Squadron, also was awarded the Bronze Star for his leadership skills. All of the medal recipients were assigned to the 437th Airlift Wing. Columbia State, SC - 18 Jun 2003
    •  C-17 crew members honored for war roles List of recipients - Charleston Post Courier
  • Man awarded medals for efforts in Korean War Retired Air Force Chief Master Sgt. John Van Horn to finally get the medals he earned during the Korean. Van Horn was presented with a Distinguished Flying Cross, an Air Medal with Two Oak Leaf Clusters. Van Horn, a meteorologist, had flow more than 50 combat missions over North Korea during a brief five- month period from late 1951 into early 1952. Marinette Eagle Herald, WI - 14 Jul 2003
  • Visalia World War II veteran gets new medals -- including one he didn't have before U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, right, presents service medals, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, a Purple Heart and the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign medal, as well as the World War II Service lapel button, to World War II veteran Wayne Houser. visaliatimesdelta.com 21 Oct 04
  • Pilot receives medal nomination for role in rescue  Marine Capt Greg Earnest has been nominated for the Distinguished Flying Cross for his effort to save lives in Iraq. Gladstone Sun News, MO - 14 Aug 2003

  • Aircrews honored for anti-terror efforts Lt. Gen. James E. Sherrard III, commander of the Air Force Reserve, awards Maj. Randall Nicholson the Distinguished Flying Cross (awarded 2 DFCs), while Maj. Jacqueline Powell waits her turn.The commander of the U.S. Air Force Reserves pinned medals on some 270 reservists with the 919th Special Operations Wing mobilized after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Tech. Sgt. Carmal Patterson- Hines was awarded a Meritorious Service Medal. Pensacola News Journal 5 Oct 03
  • Douglas grad awarded bravery medal U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Roman D. Baligadwas awarded a gold medal in Washington, D.C. for bravery during the rescue of a tugboat crewman adrift in 30-foot waves off the central Oregon coast. The presentation was made by the Association for Rescue at Sea, a nonprofit foundation that supports services in saving lives at sea. The gold medal is awarded annually to an enlisted member of the Coast Guard. Baligad, 34, an aviation survival technician, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism in May. He was a member of a helicopter crew called out Dec. 30, 2002, to rescue a tugboat crew of five whose vessel was sinking 17 miles off the coast of Florence, Ore. Battered by 30-foot waves and 60-knot winds, Baligad dangled 35 feet below a Coast Guard helicopter as it tried to reach a crewman. After 12 minutes in the air, Baligad detached himself from the helicopter’s hoist cable, dropped 35 feet into the water and swam 50 yards to the crewman. Both were pulled from the water. RGJ.com 7 Oct 03
  • State's military earns its share of medals in war State's military earns its share of medals in war With Operation Iraqi Freedom in its ninth month, medals for heroism, bravery and meritorious service are starting to be seen, and Hawai'i — even with a relatively small contingent involved to date — already has its fair share. Chief Warrant Officer Alan G. Jewett with the 25th Aviation Regiment, an OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter pilot who dodged bullets and rocket-propelled grenade fire as he flew ahead of ground troops entering Karbala. Jewett, 38, received the Distinguished Flying Cross — his second. Honolulu Advertiser 14 Dec 03

  • Pilot receives two DFCs for OIF missions An F-16 instructor pilot from the Air Force Weapons School was presented two Distinguished Flying Crosses. Capt. Scott Ulmer, a member of the 16th Weapons Squadron, earned both decorations in the span of three days during Operation Iraqi Freedom. According to the citations accompanying the awards, Captain Ulmer was flying as an F-16 CJ flight lead tasked with suppressing enemy air defenses, a mission referred to as “SEAD.” The F-16s were providing escort for Navy F-18 and F-14 strike aircraft. “Due to extremely bad weather conditions, Captain Ulmer was forced to fly well below his normal tactical altitude, at great personal risk,” the citation stated. After braving intense enemy fire, in the form of anti-aircraft artillery and surface- to-air missile threats, while successfully providing protection to the strike aircraft, his flight was re-tasked to destroy a surface-to-air missile radar that was covering Southeastern Baghdad. Once again flying through bad weather conditions and incredibly heavy anti-aircraft artillery and surface-to-air missile threats, the captain personally destroyed the radar site. During the attack, he was forced to defend himself against enemy fire and had to jettison his external fuel tanks in order to speed his exit from the area. Only two days later, Captain Ulmer was again a flight lead, this time as part of a destruction-of-enemy-air-defenses, or DEAD, package. Once again, he and his flight braved intense enemy fire in what was one of the densest concentrations of anti-aircraft artillery and surface-to-air missile sites in the country, according to the citation. Following his first successful attack run and after receiving large amounts of enemy fire, the captain organized another attack run to ensure the flight destroyed all the assigned targets. The flight destroyed all four targets with their four bombs. Despite having to react defensively to several surface-to-air missile engagements, Captain Ulmer and his flight successfully destroyed two surface-to-air missile sites and two surface-to-surface missile sights, helping clear the way for coalition forces. Air Combat Command News Service 17 Dec 03

  • Pararescue was his duty Bill Thompson and his wife, Chris, stand in their Yuba City home on Saturday. Thompson served in the Air Force as a pararescuer for 18 years, helping save over 300 people on missions from Vietnam to the eruption of Mount St. Helens. After an injury ended his pararescue career, he became a chief master sergeant at Beale Air Force Base. Thompson earned a mass of medals - a Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters, a Vietnam Cross of Gallantry and a bronze battle star.  appeal-democrat.com 10 Jan 05
  • Misawa airmen presented medals for outstanding performance in Iraq war Maj. Brad Lyons, and Capt. Steven Tittel each received the Distinguished Flying Cross, while the Bronze Star Medal was pinned on Lt. Col. Kevin Fowler. So far, the 14th Fighter Squadron has received two Bronze Star Medals and eight Distinguished Flying Crosses for service in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Stars and Stripes 18 Jan 04

    Capt Steven Tittel Maj. Brad Lyons Lt. Col. Kevin Fowler (Right)
  • Last of medals awarded to Cold War spy plane crew in Panhandle Crew members of "High and Lonesome," an Air Force RB-50 reconnaissance plane, have received recognition for a daring spy flight over Soviet territory that was kept secret for a half-century. The last of nine Distinguished Flying Crosses was presented posthumously Friday to Capt. Jack Welch's family. Welch was the lead navigator and guided the plane, powered by four piston engines, on its 3,000-mile, 15-hour Cold War mission over the Arctic Circle in September 1952. "We had no idea what the Soviets were up to," said retired Lt. Col. Roy Kaden, of Maumelle, Ark., the aircraft commander and pilot. "It was our objective to find out." Kaden is one of four survivors among the 12 crew members. They and the families of five dead crew members each have received a Distinguished Flying Cross, one of the Air Force's highest honors, in a series of ceremonies across the country. Three other crew members or their families have not been found. The Mercury News 23 Jan 04
  • Airmen's heroics honored Dr. James Roche, secretary of the Air Force, pins a Distinguished Flying Cross medal onto Capt. Terry Sears. Pensacola News Journal 28 Jan 04
  • Toups honored for aerial bravery in Iraq Inside a four-engine gunship called Spooky, Technical Sgt. Burton “Scott” Toups and his crew kept two Iraqi pipelines safe during a pitched battle in March 2003. The battle didn’t make many headlines, but one of Iraq’s largest oil pipelines and one of the nation’s key waterlines were saved. Toups received the Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions during that battle. He’s a member of the U.S. Air Force’s 16th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlbert Field, Fla. He is a sensor operator on the AC-130. Sixteen Air Force personnel received the award. The Advertiser 10 Feb 04
  • 60 years later, veteran receives WWII medals Ken Kinsinger knew that before he could return to the young wife he had left behind, he would have to complete 50 missions. He did make it, and nearly 60 years later, the World War II veteran was finally honored for his service. Kinsinger was awarded the Air Medal for completing those 50 missions, and the Distinguished Flying Cross for one particularly dangerous but successful bombing run. Pilot online 12 Feb 04
  • War Hero Receives Medals 30 Year Later Devon Nooner served a distinguished career in the U.S. Army. He almost lost his life numerous times in Vietnam. He flew with three U.S. presidents. Yet nearly 30 years after his retirement, he still had not received most of the medals he had earned. That changed last week. The Screamer resident received a package at his residence that contained 26 medals. "I didn't know I had all of them," he said. He opened his package and found a Distinguished Flying Cross, the Army's third highest award. There were three Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts and numerous air medals. The Eufaula Tribune 2 Apr 04
  • Veteran of three wars finally gets medal A 82-year-old Florida man who flew fighter planes in three wars has received the Distinguished Flying Cross for the second time. Robert Coffin received the medal for heroism for his actions while flying a combat mission over South Korea in 1950. On that day in July 1950, Coffin destroyed two tanks and shot down an enemy plane that was attacking a disabled U-S bomber.The new honor will be added to Coffin's collection of 48 awards and decorations, including the Bronze Star, two Legion of Merit awards and a Meritorious Service Medal. Coffin was a fighter pilot in World War Two, Korea and Vietnam. wane.com Apr 04
  • The bravest man you probably don't know about Ivan L. Slavich, retired colonel in the United States Army, commander of the first company of armed gunships in U.S. history in Vietnam, and the subject of two articles written by Pulitzer Prize winner and war correspondent David Halberstram of The New York Times. "I just happened to be there when all that war stuff was going on," he repeats softly in a modest tone. "I did my duty and that was it." Like accumulating the Distinguished Flying Cross, Silver Star, Bronze Star For Valor, four awards of the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, six awards of the Air Medal, and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry. zwire.com 20 May 04
  • Veteran finally gets medals Vietnam veteran Garry Kersey waited more than 35 years to receive the medals he was awarded. Kersey received the following medals:• The Distinguished Flying Cross "for heroism while participating in aerial flight evidenced by voluntary actions above and beyond the call of duty" on April 9, 1968. Kersey voluntarily accepted a mission to fly as crew chief on an emergency extraction. While fully exposed to enemy fire, he leaned out of the aircraft and directed the hook-up on the evacuation hoist. He placed heavy suppressive fire to protect the aircraft as the pilot lifted the two team members 120 feet straight up over trees.

    • The Bronze Star "for meritorious achievement in ground operations against hostile forces" from April 1968 through November 1968.

    • The Army Commendation Medal With Valor Device for heroism on May 17, 1968, when Kersey extinguished a blaze in his crew's helicopter while under enemy fire from across the landing zone.

    • The Air Medal "for meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight" from May 1968 to August 1968. reviewjournal.com 1 Jun 04

  • Rowell decorated with Flying Cross medal Air Force Maj. William J. Rowell has been decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross Medal in recognition of a single act of heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces. pulaskicountydemocrat.com 23 Jun 04
  • Native American Heritage highlighted in November November is American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month. The celebrations recognize their contributions to this country, and showcase the proud traditions of the first Americans. Native Americans have served with distinction in the U.S. military for more than 200 years. They fought in the War of 1812, in the Civil War as auxiliary troops for Union and Confederate forces, and were on the frontlines in the Spanish-American War in 1898. During World War I (WW I) more than 12,000 served in the U.S. Armed Forces. They turned out again in force after the outbreak of World War II (WW II). Over 44,000 Native Americans served in Europe and the Pacific between 1941 and 1945. Since then they have fought in the Korean, Vietnam and Gulf Wars. And the warrior tradition continues with those serving in Iraq today. "American Indians have fought for this country in every war...they have won many military awards. There were 71 Air medals, 51 Silver Stars, 41 Bronze Stars, 34 Distinguished Flying Crosses and three Medals of Honor," said Maniece, cataloguing the honors awarded to Native American war heroes. The three Native American Navy service members that were awarded the highest military decoration -- the Medal of Honor -- are Cmdr Ernest Evans, Lt. Michael Thornton and Chief Boatswain's Mate James Williams. During WW II Evans was honored for his actions as the Commanding Officer of USS Johnston during a sea battle off Samar Island in the Philippines, Oct.1944. Thornton was decorated for his actions as a Navy patrol advisor during combat in Vietnam, Oct. 1972. Williams received the Medal of Honor for his actions as a river patrol boat captain during combat, also in Vietnam, Oct.1966. dcmilitary.com 5 Nov 04
  • A distinguished honor - McConnell aircrew members receive medal Two McConnell Air Force Base aircrew members received the Distinguished Flying Cross. Lt. Gen. William Welser III, Commander 18th Air Force, presented the medals to Capt. Mark Adams and TSgt. Justin Johansen. Flying one of only eight air refuelable KC-135s in the Air Force inventory, they were the lead crew launched in support of the first concentrated airborne special operations assault of Operation Enduring Freedom. derbydailyrep.com 1 Dec 04

  • Pilot to receive heroism medal A Marine pilot will receive the Distinguished Flying Cross for rescuing wounded Marines and an Iraqi family while facing fire. Capt. Armando Espinoza, a CH-46E Sea Knight pilot for Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 268, is being recognized for his actions in April 2003. He flew evacuation missions in support of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine's assault on Baghdad. He is cited for airlifting to safety 28 Marines and a family of seven Iraqis. signonsandiego.com 24 Feb 05

  • Joublanc receives much-deserved medal Chuck Joublanc finally got his Distinguished Flying Cross after being nominated for it at the close of World War II. zanesvilletimesrecorder.com 22 Dec 04
  • Robert Samuel Springer Robert Samuel Springer joined the U.S. Marine Corps and was honorably discharged in 1960. He continued his military service with the U.S. Army as a helicopter pilot, serving two tours of duty in Vietnam where he earned the Meritorious Service Medal, the Purple Heart, the Distinguished Flying Cross with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Bronze Star with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army Commendation Medal with Valor Device, the Air Medal with Valor Device and Numerals 39. He retired from the Army in 1977 with the rank of CWO3. hcnews.com 5 Feb 05

  • War veterans named to Hall of Valor Robert O'Hara Jr. is worried his part in World War II will be blown out of proportion. A tech sergeant, he flew 27 missions from England to Europe. On the 27th, his plane was shot down "over the heart of Berlin." All 10 crew members parachuted to the ground alive -- O'Hara with an undiagnosed injury that left him unconscious about 11 days -- only to be captured by the Germans and imprisoned for 13 months. O'Hara, recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross, is one of 25 southwestern Pennsylvania war veterans who will be inducted Sunday into the Soldiers & Sailors Hall of Valor, part of the Soldiers & Sailors National Military Museum & Memorial in Oakland. Among them are winners of the Medal of Honor, Navy Cross, Silver Star, Kearny Cross, Air Force Cross and Distinguished Flying Cross. Nineteen of the men, including the late actor Jimmy Stewart of Indiana, Pa., served in World War II. The class also includes one veteran each from the Spanish-American War, World War I and the Korean War, and three from the Vietnam War. Eleven of the 25 inductees are deceased. post-gazette.com 4 Mar 05

  • Area vets inducted into Hall of Valor Although he earned the Distinguished Service Cross and Distinguished Flying Cross for his service in World War II, Charles H. Booth Jr. doesn't think of himself as a hero. Booth was a major in the Army Air Force on March 8, 1944, when he, as command pilot, led one section of a heavy bombardment group on a mission against military installations in Germany. When anti-aircraft fire struck his B-24 Liberator above Hanover, Booth was still about an hour of flight time from his destination of Berlin. Wounded in both legs and one hand, Booth dragged himself to the flight deck and continued to direct the battle against enemy fighter attacks until the bombing run ended about two hours later, according to an award citation. Another pilot during World War II was James Maitland Stewart, of Indiana Borough, Indiana County. The Army Air Force awarded Lt. Col. Jimmy Stewart the Oak Leaf Cluster to the Distinguished Flying Cross for achievement as an air commander. Another Indiana County honoree is Warren J. Shepherd, who was a 16-year-old Army corporal in the Spanish-American War when he assisted in the rescue of wounded soldiers under heavy fire on July 1, 1898. Shepherd earned the Medal of Honor for his actions at El Caney, Cuba. Staff Sgt. Alvin P. Carey, who was born in Lycippus, Unity Township, also earned the Medal of Honor. Carey, was the leader of a machine gun section that advanced toward an enemy hill near Plougastel, Brittany, France on Aug. 23, 1944. The only inductee from the Korean War this year is Joseph D. Sanko, of New Salem, Fayette County. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service in January 1952 as pilot of a fighter plane based on the U.S.S. Valley Forge. pittsburghlive.com 5 Mar 05

  • Hall of Valor honors veterans from McMurray VFW Post 764 Five decorated war veterans of Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial Post 764 of McMurray were among 25 veterans inducted into the Hall of Valor at Soldiers and Sailors Hall in Pittsburgh. Two of the men – Robert W. Hockelberg who received the Distinguished Flying Cross for more than 100 hours of aerial flight over hostile territory in Burma,  and Joseph Lubas who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross while serving as a radio operator of a B-17 on bombing missions over Germany and other parts of Europe in August, September and November 1944.– were being inducted posthumously. The others are George C. Yates Army Infantry, who was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action at Cebus, Philippine Islands, on March 29, 1945., Michael E. Stephan U.S. Army's 159th Aviation Battalion, received the Distinguished Flying Cross for participating in aerial flight in the Republic of Vietnam Oct. 30 and 31, 1970. and William C. Sommer U.S. Air Force, 6994th Security Squadron, distinguished himself while participating in aerial flight as a C-47 Airborne Morse Systems Supervisor near DaNang Airfield, Vietnam, Oct. 10, 1971. Sommer was flying an unarmed reconnaissance mission against enemy fire in direct support of local ground operations. With great determination and skill, he remained in the area, despite intense and accurate hostile fire. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross. observer-reporter.com 12 Mar 05

  • World War II Remembered A summary of war-related events as reported in the Green Bay Press-Gazette from March 6-12, 1945. Marine Col. Warren J. Schuster has been awarded the Bronze Star for heroic achievement on Saipan, as a member of the Second Marine division. Mr. and Mrs. Matt Rusch, Oneida, have received the Purple Heart posthumously awarded to their son, Pfc. Edward M. Rusch, who died of wounds received in Belgium, Dec. 28. Mr. and Mrs. Martin Hessel have received the Purple Heart awarded to their son, Pfc. Warren Hessel, for wounds in action in Germany last November. Marine 2nd Lt. Leslie J. Wondrash has been awarded the Silver Star for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action during the Saipan campaign. The Distinguished Flying Cross and Oak Leaf clusters for Tech. Sgt. John E. Webb, a prisoner of war in Germany. Mr. and Mrs. William Paige have received the Purple Heart awarded to their son, Pvt. Harlan Paige, who was killed in action in Belgium, Jan. 4. Cpl. William C. Smith has recently been awarded the Oak Leaf cluster to the Bronze Star. Lt. Bernard M. Winsberg has been awarded the Air medal. A Bronze Star was awarded to Pfc. Burton Johnson. greenbaypressgazette.com 6 Mar 05

  • Sewickley vet among Hall of Valor inductees Ernest Williams isn't sure what all the fuss is about. "I just did what everyone else did, no heroics," said Williams, 84, of Sewickley. In 1942, Williams, then a 21-year-old University of Pittsburgh engineering student, joined the Marine Air Corps. After pilot training, he was assigned to Marine Fighter Squadron 155 in the central Pacific, where he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross four times. timesonline.com 6 Mar 05

  • NH Pilot gets Medal for Bravery Captain Ryan Welch was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for leading a rescue of two American fliers wounded in a deadly helicopter crash south of Baghdad last fall. During the risky night mission, Welch helped lift one of the injured men into a two-seat Apache helicopter, then strapped himself and the other flier to the outside. wcsj6.com 17 May 05

  • Pilots earn DFC medals for close-air support mission When Capt. Mike Trapp got in the air, at the controls of his AV-8B Harrier jet one August day in 2003, it was his 105th mission in 10 months spent flying and operating in Afghanistan. The days were melting into each other, forming a pattern that ended on Aug. 25, 2003, with a radio call from a ground combat team that was separated, on foot and under fire in Afghanistan’s central mountain region. Trapp and now-Lt. Col. Mike Franzak were the sole available crew to provide close-air support for the troops, soldiers with the New York National Guard. With one hand on a pair of binoculars and another on the stick, Trapp, working with Franzak, told the soldiers where the bad guys were while they dropped bombs, fired missiles and made strafing runs as they zipped at 500 knots through valleys. Their actions would save the soldiers and earn both officers Distinguished Flying Crosses with combat “V” devices for valor. These awards mark the first of those medals awarded to Harrier pilots in 15 years, and the first of the medals given for Afghanistan operations. ;Capt. Armando Espinoza, a CH-46E pilot, received the DFC this spring for his tour flying missions in Iraq. Trapp returned home a month after that flight, ending an 11½-month deployment with the “Flying Nightmares” of Marine Attack Squadron 513 in Afghanistan. He received five Strike/Flight Air Medals. marinetimes.com 15 Jul 05

  • World War II Remembered Following news items are from 1945 - Capt. Zachary T. Ossefort has been awarded the Purple Heart for wounds sustained in Czechoslovakia May 5. First Lt. Robert Mahony has been awarded the Purple Heart and Air medal for duty with the Army Air corps in Europe. Cpl. Harold E. Derbique, son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Derbique, 1250 Doty street, has been awarded the Croix de Guerre Avec Palme by the French government for “exceptional military services rendered in the course of operations for the liberation of France.” T/Sgt. Sylvester Strelow, of Gresham, has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement in the strategic air war over Europe. Lt. George M. Ossefort has been awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action in Germany between Feb. 23 and Feb. 26, 1945. Cpl. Charles W. Erickson was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service in combat on the Fifth Army front in Italy. Sgt. Alfred B. Forsythe has been awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received in action in Italy April 14. greenbaypressgazette.com `17 Jul 05

  • Aviator receives rare medal Marine Lt. Col. Michael V. Franzak's name was added to that notable list of recipients of the Distinguished Flying Cross. The bronze cross with a superimposed four-bladed propeller, with a combat V for action, was bestowed upon the 43-year-old Stafford County resident during a brief ceremony at Quantico Marine Corps Base's Warfighting Laboratory. Franzak, who joined the Navy in 1981 and was commissioned in the Marines in 1987, earned his award rescuing a pinned-down Army Reserve unit in Afghanistan. fredericksburg.com 31 Aug 05

  • Martin receives military awards Charles Martin received several awards for distinguished military service in the China-Burma-India campaign of World War II. By the personal direction of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the India-China wing of the Air Transport Command was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation. Additionally, Martin received the American Defense Ribbon, the Asia-Pacific Service Ribbon with a battle star, the Air Medal with a bronze cluster, and most notably the Distinguished Flying Cross. thetraveleronline.com 6 May 05

  • 7th Fighter Squadron vet receives medals Sixty years after serving in the Army Air Corps, a 7th Fighter Squadron pilot received a Distinguished Flying Cross and an Air Medal. First Lieutenant James Costley, a P-38 pilot in World Word II, received the last of his military decorations in front of three generations of his family, friends and fellow military veterans. blackanthem.com 4 Nov 05
  • Chinese helped Stauntonian escape to safety after raid on Tokyo On April 18, 1942, Jack Manch bailed out of his bomber and parachuted 6,200 feet into China. An angry and embarrassed Japanese empire —Manch and 84 other men had just bombed industrial and military targets in Tokyo — fanned out its forces in an effort to capture or kill the American fliers. Back in Staunton, Manch's family was telephoned by Gen. Jimmy Doolittle and told of their son's participation in the raid on the Japanese capital. He told them he was safe, in Calcutta, and would be home as soon as he could. In a follow-up letter to the Manches, Doolittle wrote: "He comported himself with conspicuous bravery and distinction. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for gallantry in action, and was also decorated by the Chinese government. But Manch wouldn't come home for a number of months, yet. He volunteered to fly with Claire Chenault and his Flying Tigers in China. newsleader.com 3 Dec 05

  • Vice President visits Bagram, presents medals, speaks with troops Vice President Dick Cheney awarded medals for valor in combat to two Army aviators and two infantrymen Monday during a visit with the troops here 19 Dec. Cheney awarded the Bronze Star Medal with valor to Staff Sgt. Jonathan Brooks and Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Holland, both infantrymen assigned to 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry (Airborne), for their actions in combat on May 30. Chief Warrant Officer Guy Betts, a pilot from Company B, 3rd Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment, received the Air Medal with Valor for engaging the enemy during a medical evacuation mission June 1. Chief Warrant Officer Sean Laycox, a CH-47 Chinook pilot from Company D, 113th Aviation Regiment received the Distinguished Flying Cross for assisting a downed helicopter while under fire during an April 18 mission. blackanthem.com 20 Dec 05

  • Commandant Presents Prestigious Medal to Air Station Clearwater Crew Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Tom Collins will present each member of a Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater flight crew with the Distinguished Flying Cross. Lt. Cmdr. Craig Massello, Lt.j.g. David Sheppard, Petty Officer 2nd Class Robert Cain and Petty Officer 3rd Class Kenyon Bolton are being honored for their extraordinary heroism while participating in an aerial rescue during Hurricane Katrina. On August 26, 2005, the crew was tasked with flying through the ferocious 85-knot winds and violent 40-foot seas of Hurricane Katrina to rescue three persons on the distressed fishing vessel Mary Lynn located only 10 miles from the eye of the hurricane, 210-nautical miles southwest of Air Station Clearwater.  There have been only 15 Distinguished Flying Crosses awarded since 2001 and these are the first to be awarded for heroism during Hurricane Katrina. military.com 27 Jan 06

  • Award: WWII pilot recognized for bravery, treated to F-22A simulator ride It was Sept. 26, 1944, and 1st. Lt. Ralph Davis (seated left), who'd just finished a run hauling gasoline in his B-24 "Southern Clipper", thought he might relax on the way home. Only this trip turned out to be a little more demanding than the usual gas run. A pilot with the 467th Bombardment Group, based at Rackheath Airfield, England, Lieutenant Davis was flying a mission for the 790th, a squadron that occasionally hauled 80-octane gasoline instead of bombs (to support U.S. ground forces) when his aircraft came under heavy attack. His bravery and quick thinking that day saved his crew and aircraft, and earned him the Distinguished Flying Cross. blackanthem.com 30 Mar 06
  • Hatch presents medals to local WWII vet World War II veteran M. Robert Conn receiving two war medals that a U.S. senator, family members and friends called long overdue. On Aug. 1, 1943, 177 B-24 Liberator bombers flew from the Liberian desert to bomb oil refineries in Ploesti, Romania. Ploesti was the major source of oil for the Nazi military and the primary fuel depot for Germany during the war. After three unsuccessful high-level bombings, President Franklin D. Roosevelt called for the oil reserves to be destroyed at all costs - saving lives and shortening the war. Conn was presented with the Distinguished Flying Cross - the highest aviation medal awarded, the Air Medal. thespectrum.com 21 Apr 06

  • Coast Guard honors its own for Hurricane Katrina rescues Almost 100 of the U.S. Coast Guard's pilots, engineers, divers, ship captains and crews who helped with Hurricane Katrina rescues were honored for their actions. The highest honors, the Legion of Merit, went to Capts. David R. Callahan and James D. Bjostad, both assigned to the Mobile Coast Guard base. Callahan commands the Aviation Training Center and Bjostad leads Sector Mobile. "I'm in charge of the boats. He does the planes," Bjostad said. Petty Officer Jay Leahr of Cincinnati, Ohio, received the Distinguished Flying Cross, for rescues on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Leahr, a rescue swimmer, recalled flying 11 sorties into the Gulfport area, saving people who had not evacuated from apartments. timesdaily.com 12 May 06

    • Coast Guard honors heroes of Katrina The highest of the four awards presented -- the Legion of Merit -- went to Capt. David Callahan, commanding officer of the Coast Guard Aviation Training Center, and Capt. James Bjostad, commanding officer of Coast Guard Sector Mobile. They received the award for their outstanding leadership in the aftermath of Katrina. The Distinguished Flying Cross went to 19 local Coast Guard personnel. The Meritorious Service Medal was pinned on 13 Coast Guard members, and 61 service members received the Air Medal. All Coast Guard stations involved in the Katrina effort are credited with making a total of 33,544 rescues, according to officials. Normally, in an average year, the entire Coast Guard saves about 5,500 people. al.com 13 May 06
  • Patriotism award winner devotes time to soldiers and loved ones After four years fighting in Vietnam, where he was wounded three times and decorated for valor and bravery, Capt. William Hogan returned home to insults that still cling painfully to his memory. Instead of being depressed by those recollections of being cursed at and called "baby killer," the 66-year-old former helicopter pilot chose to do something that not only keeps a smile on his face but on the faces of thousands of husbands, wives, parents and children who have a loved one serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. Hogan's devotion to soldiers and their families, combined with his stellar military career, earned him this year's Audie Murphy Patriotism Award. That especially describes how he feels about receiving one of three Distinguished Flying Crosses the Army awarded him for bravery. Hogan amassed 1,700 hours of combat flying. He did his first two tours as a ground soldier, serving in plans and projects in 1962 and with the Special Forces in 1965. He didn't fly helicopters till his third and fourth tours in 1967 and 1969, respectively. During his second tour, an enemy force of about 4,000 surrounded his outfit of about 87 soldiers, which included some South Vietnamese personnel. Hogan helped repel the enemy in a bloody battle in which Hogan earned a Silver Star. decaturdaily.com 2 Jul 06
  • Navy World War II Aerial Gunner, POW Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross A U.S. Navy World War II aerial gunner who survived combat and nearly a year as a prisoner of war posthumously received the Distinguished Flying Cross. Cmdr. James F. Hughes, commanding officer of Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Little Creek, presented the Flying Cross and the Air Medal with six awards to former Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class Joseph E. Cross' family. The recognition honored Cross' actions while serving as a turret gunner on a TBF Avenger with Torpedo Squadron (VT) 14 aboard USS Wasp (CV 18). news.navy.mil 1 Aug 06

  • An honor long overdue In September 1952, U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Roscoe C. Lindsay was among 12 crew members who successfully completed a secret mission over the Soviet Union. Almost 54 years to the day after the mission -- Lindsay was posthumously honored. His widow, Loy Lindsay, was presented with the Distinguished Flying Cross. Roscoe Lindsay died of a heart attack in 1959 when he was 38 years old. Col. T. Harrison Smith, vice commander of the 22nd Air Refueling Wing at McConnell, presented the medal to Loy Lindsay. Lindsay was an aerial photographer on the mission, in which crew members were to determine whether the Soviets were building a base that would pose a nuclear threat to the East Coast. The mission was so secret that they were instructed not to use their radios for the entire 15-hour flight. Crew members were also told that if they were shot down or captured, there would be no rescue attempt. The crew successfully completed its mission, but because of its classified nature, it was largely unknown for decades. In 2000, the government declassified details of the mission, and crew members began sharing their story. Soon after, Lindsay's grandson, Patrick Logan, read that the lead pilot on the mission, Lt. Col. Roy Kaden, was trying to track down other crew members or their families. He wanted the crew to receive military honors. Kaden, who lives in Arkansas, contacted Logan, who lives in Missouri, and told him: "I've been looking for your family for 40 years." Logan, who attended Friday's ceremony, said Kaden is the person who lobbied for his grandfather to receive the award. He was among the last of the crew members to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross. "The colonel deserves a great deal of credit," Logan said. "He wanted to make sure his crew was recognized." kansas.com 16 Sep 06
  • Ellington man, 86, recognized for bravery as bomber pilot More than 60 years after the end of World War II, Edwin M. Lavitt was recognized for his service as a U.S. Air Force B-24 bomber pilot at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. Lavitt 86, was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses and an Air Medal at the reunion of the 2nd Bomb Division in October. In addition to this, Lavitt already has four Air Medals and one Distinguished Flying Cross that he received while he was stationed in England during the war. Lavitt flew 29 missions with his crew during his approximately yearlong service. Over the years he remained in touch with most of his nine-member crew. Three of them passed away last year. journalinquirer.com 23 Dec 06

  • Charles Munn Retired Marine Col. Charles R. "Chuck" Munn Jr., passed from this life Jan. 10, 2007. He was only 83. He answered his nation's call to arms in World War II, enlisting in the Navy. After attending Brown University, in 1946 he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps and posted in China with the 5th Marines during the Chinese civil war. During the Korean War, Col. Munn served with the 11th Marines as an artillery officer and in high-risk aerial reconnaissance and observation. Flying mostly in light, unarmed planes at low altitudes over enemy lines, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross as well as the Air Medal with seven gold stars. He also served with distinction in the Vietnam War with the 3rd Marine Division during the Tet Offensive. Col. Munn was most humbled by the awarding of the Legion of Merit with "V" and Combat Action Ribbon in recognition of his heroism under enemy fire. frederiksburg.com 14 Jan 07
  • US Helicopter Crews in Iraq Honoured for Bravery Three U.S. helicopter crews were honoured for bravery under fire for coming to the aid of a helicopter that was shot down, killing 12 soldiers in one of the worst crashes of the Iraq war. The Black Hawk transport helicopter was brought down on Jan. 20 north of Baghdad as it was ferrying troops on a routine run to the capital. The military's top medical officer in Iraq and two other senior officers were among those killed. The three Black Hawk helicopter crews awarded medals at the sprawling U.S. air base Anaconda near Balad north of Baghdad were honoured for coming to the rescue of their downed comrades, fighting off insurgents and securing the crash site. The helicopters landed and deployed the troops they had been carrying to set up a perimeter around the downed aircraft until Apache attack helicopters arrived on the scene. Chief Warrant Officer Jerry Sartin, the pilot who led the rescue, received the U.S. military's fourth-highest decoration, the Silver Star, while three others received the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the rest received Air Medals. Chief Warrant Officer Thomas Schroeder, one of the pilots who received the Distinguished Flying Cross, was also flying troops to Baghdad on the day of the crash, flying a few minutes behind Easy 40, the helicopter that crashed. javno.com 4 Jun 07
  • Report: Luke pilot died while trying to save comrades A Luke Air Force Base fighter pilot has been posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor. Thirty-four-year-old Major Troy Gilbert, who lived in the Litchfield Park area, was killed in Iraq on November 27th. Air Force officials have concluded that Gilbert was so focused on saving the lives of troops and the crew of a downed Army helicopter that he flew too low to the ground and was unable to pull his F-16 up, which then crashed. The officials say his actions helped save the lives of the helicopter crew and other coalition ground forces. Gilbert's remains were removed from his crashed plane before coalition forces could get there. Efforts to find those remains continue. kold.com 2 Apr 07
  • Missouri guardsman awarded flying medal for heroism in Iraq A southwest Missouri National Guard sergeant has been awarded the U.S. Army's Distinguished Flying Cross medal for heroism during a flight over Iraq that came under fire. The Missouri National Guard said Friday that Sgt. Alexander Johnston, 30, of Willard, is one of just a few enlisted soldiers to receive the medal, which is primarily given to flight officers. Johnston was flight engineer on a C-23 Sherpa airplane carrying cargo and passengers in January from Balad to Tikrit in Iraq. The plane was flying at an altitude of 100 feet when it was hit by machine gun fire from an insurgent on the ground. The pilot, co-pilot and a passenger were hit. Johnston helped moved the co-pilot out of his seat and cared for the injured passenger, then took the co-pilot's seat to help the wounded pilot safely finish the flight. "With little regard for his personal safety, Johnston calmly assessed the situation and executed," Lt. Col. Patrick Weber, Operation Support Airlift Command commander, wrote in the commendation. "His actions both in and out of the cockpit clearly aided in the safe return of this battle damaged aircraft." colombiamissourian.com 15 Jun 07
  • "Weekend Warrior" Honored for Bravery Chief Warrant Officer Tom Schroeder went from Sac State graduate to deployment in Iraq. Now, a Sacramento citizen soldier returns from Iraq with the Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions during one combat mission. Schroeder, 31, was awarded the medal for his actions during a January mission outside of Bahgdad. On January 11, Schroeder was piloting his chopper alongside another Blackhawk, while two more were about one mile in front of them. One of the choppers up ahead was shot down and Schroeder spotted the smoke. "We saw the people in the gun truck driving away from the scene and engaged them, assisted the people on the ground. Unfortunately, we lost everybody in that aircraft," recalled Schroeder. But the other chopper had landed to assist the first and officers believe when Schroeder and his crew took out the enemy truck, they saved the 12 soldiers in the second helicopter. news10.net 28 Aug 07
  • Retired U.S. Air Force Technical Sgt. James Marbry awarded Distinguished Flying Cross Retired aviator cited for WWII bravery Retired U.S. Air Force Technical Sgt. James Marbry was among the first members of the Army Air Force to see Berlin as his B-17 swooped in for a bombing raid of the German capital in March 1944. Nearly 64 years later, he's finally received recognition for that harrowing mission to push deep into German territory during daylight. The 84-year-old Shelby Township veteran received his Distinguished Flying Cross for his efforts as a ball turret gunner aboard the B-17 bomber named "Dreambaby." detnews.com 7 Dec 07
  • Base awards medals In a celebration of military heritage, Brig. Gen. Wayne Schatz, commander of Little Rock Air Force Base, pinned three of the Air Force’s top medals on six service members from the past and present in a medal presentation ceremony. Capt. Ret. Jerry R. Johnson and Tech. Sgt. Ret. Roy E. Mattocks were presented the Distinguished Flying Cross for their brave actions while performing their duties during Vietnam. Master Sgt. Ret. James D. Smith was presented his Bronze Star and Purple Heart earned during his two tours in Vietnam. Three current Little Rock airmen — Lt. Col. Geoffrey S. Ellazar, Tech. Sgt. Arnold E. Aschenbeck and Tech. Sgt. Darrell J. Horka — also received the Bronze Star for their service in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Johnson served 12 years in the Air Force, from 1960-72, and was assigned to LRAFB as a navigator in the 61st Airlift Squadron at one time. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his extraordinary achievement on Dec. 6, 1970 while flying at night, armed reconnaissance mission on an AC-130 gunship in Laos. According to the medal citation, Johnson’s actions led to the damage or destruction of 12 hostile supply vehicles and, without regard for his personal safety in the face of 220 rounds of hostile anti-aircraft fire, destroyed large amounts of supplies and ammunition destined for use against friendly forces. Mattocks spent 21 years in the Air Force, ending his career as a first sergeant for the 16th AS, the predecessor to the 53rd AS. He began as an aircraft mechanic and crew chief, and while serving in Vietnam in 1968 as a flight engineer, flew C-130 re-supply, container delivery airdrop missions to South Vietnamese troops at a remote outpost. In four passes over the drop zone, Mattocks and his fellow crewmembers were shot at by the Vietcong three times as they successfully delivered four loads of needed supplies. Smith served in the Army for 20 years and was part of the 101st Airborne. During his first tour to Vietnam in 1965 as part of the 32nd Combat Engineers clearing road mines in-country, a sniper shot him, earning him the Purple Heart. He received the Bronze Star during his second tour to Vietnam in 1969 while serving as a platoon leader for Company G, 801st Maintenance Battalion, 101st Airborne Division, Airmobile. “His dedication to duty and professionalism contributed to the successful completion of convoy missions,” Johnson’s Bronze Star citation states. Ellazar, deputy commander of the 314th Mission Support Group at LRAFB, received the Bronze Star for his service while serving as the inaugural commander for a unit in Balad, Iraq. As commander from December 2006 to June 2007, his leadership over 390 rotational airmen delivered unparallel support to 12 Army and coalition joint task force mission areas across Iraq. This was Ellazar’s second Bronze Star. He received his first for work during a prior rotation in Iraq. Aschenbeck, a member of the 314th Readiness Squadron, and Horka, part of the 314th Logistics Readiness Squadron, received their Bronze Stars for what the general described as their “fantastic job leading their airmen” while commanding ground convoy missions. Aschenbeck successfully completed 13 convoy missions during 104 days in the Iraq area of responsibility; Horka successfully completed 14 convoy missions in 102 days. arkansasleader.com 10 Dec 07
  • Kansas helicopter pilot honored for valor in Iraq As bullets from the shore of the Tigris River peppered Nathan Hammon's Black Hawk helicopter, he didn't think -- he reacted. Years of flight school he began as a Kansas teenager, the months of meticulous military training and the 600 flight hours in Iraq kicked in. The Kansas National Guard Chief Warrant Officer yesterday was honored for valor as Governor Sebelius pinned the Distinguished Flying Cross to his chest. Last June 2nd Hammon left Baghdad for a base 42 miles to the north, carrying four crew members and six soldiers. Suddenly the chopper was hit by a hail of tracer bullets and some tore through the tail roter. Hammon said his intense training led him to get the shuddering helicopter away from the enemy by guiding it to the other side of the river for a safe landing. Sebelius also presented Bronze Stars to three other Kansas guardsmen for their heroics in Iraq combat. nebraska.tv 12 Jan 08
  • Col. Michael Newman, 51st Operations Group commander, pins the Distinguished Flying Cross medal on Maj. Daniel Clayton A-10 pilot gets DFC for efforts in Afghanistan  An A-10 pilot at Osan Air Base, South Korea, received the Distinguished Flying Cross recently for leading a nighttime combat search-and-rescue mission in Afghanistan in May 2007. Maj. Daniel Clayton responded to the crash of a CH-47 Chinook and took on-scene command, coordinating A-11s, F-15Es, AH-64s, AC-130s and a KC-10 to protect a ground recovery team under fire by enemy forces. “No one who supports or provides cover for our heroic soldiers ever wants to hear about a friendly or coalition aircraft being shot down,” Clayton said in an Air Force news release. “But every A-10 pilot wants to be the pilot overhead — to make sure all friendly or coalition pilots, aircrew, or recovery personnel are located, protected and extricated from such a dire, stressful and dangerous situation.” The crash killed five U.S. soldiers, a British soldier and a Canadian soldier. airforcetimes.com 28 Oct 08
  • World War II vet honored 60-plus years after bombing mission Joe Moser, 87, gained a new distinction. Moser was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, a commendation given to aviators for "heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight."  The medal was a long time coming: 64 years after he earned it in a bombing mission.Moser flew 44 missions in World War II, but he said he has no memories of the mission in whichhe earned the medal. He received it for a bombing run carried out July 30, 1944.  But two weeks later, Moser was shot down, and he never learned of the high honors he had earned for another 50 years. But in 1944, the young pilot was about to be sent to a place worse than any nightmare. Moser was one of 168 fliers who the Germans brought to the notorious Buchenwald Concentration Camp. In the 1990s, he learned from a war buddy that he had won the Distinguished Flying Cross when he was shown a logbook from his 474th Fighter Group. But the paperwork had been lost, hampering the process of him receiving the medal. Efforts to gain the medal went nowhere until Moser and a friend named Gerald Baron co-wrote a book on his experiences called "A Fighter Pilot in Buchenwald." cnn.com 30 Jan 09
  • US Coast Guard awards two area Bay guardsmen for saving several people The U.S. Coast Guard is honoring two Bay Area guardsman at the San Francisco International Airport today with separate awards for their efforts that helped save more than 50 people in the last two years. Lt. Commander Eric Smith is receiving a Distinguished Flying Cross, the country's oldest military aviation award, for his efforts in rescuing 39 people during the Pacific Northwest floods of 2007. Petty Officer Robert Custer is receiving the Coast Guard Achievement Medal, an award established by former U.S. Secretary of Treasury Douglas Dillon in 1964, for his efforts in rescuing 26 people from a grounded yacht in San Mateo in December. mercury news.com 30 Jan 09
  • The Distinguished Flying Cross Society

Broken Links - For information purposes only:

  • Gen. William J. Maddox Jr. Dies; Decorated Pilot Served in 3 Wars - His decorations included the Distinguished Service Medal, four Silver Stars, 127 Air Medals, 8 DFCs and 5 Legions of Merit.

  • John L. Croft - WWII veteran receives the Distinguished Flying Cross from Brig. Gen. Chip Diehl, 6th Air Mobility Wing commander, in a ceremony held Jan. 17 at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. Croft earned the medal for extraordinary achievement as a ball turret gunner aboard a B-17 bomber on March 26,1945. (Air Force Link)
  • B-1 OSO receives Distinguished Flying Cross Maj. Gerald Goodfellow awarded the DFC for heroism while flying in support of Operation Allied Force Oct 01
  • Wiley Elliott Moore, decorated war hero WWII and Korean War Navy aviator, awarded the DFC, President's Unit Citation and Unit Commendation Ribbon
  • 56 Years late, area veteran gets Distinguished Flying Cross Franklin Boesch, a World War II B-24 navigator and bombardier. Flew 35 Combat Missions) (Photo) (Nov 01)
  • His Commendations (ARM 2/c Phil Pitruzzelo received the DFC, Presidential Unit Citation and four Air Medals while flying as a tail gunner in a Curtis Hell Diver during World War II in the Pacific) (Apr 02)
  • B-1 OSO receives Distinguished Flying Cross
  • (Maj. Gerald Goodfellow awarded the DFC for heroism while flying in support of Operation Allied Force) (Oct 01)
Orders, Decorations Medals Webiste Military Collector's Club of Canada Crest
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