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Donald Dale Pucket



Fading light dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky,
    Gleaming bright.
From afar drawing nigh,    
    Falls the night.

Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, From the hills,
    From the sky.
All is well, safel
y rest,
    God is nigh.

Then good night, Peaceful night,
Till the light of the dawn
    Shineth bright,
God is near, do not fear,
  Friend, good night.

Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery
  84-270-271-272  (Group Plot) 

Born:  December 19, 1915 at Longmont, CO

Entered Service in the US Army Air Corps from Boulder, CO

Earned The Medal of Honor During World War II For heroism July 09, 1944 at Ploesti, Rumania

Died:  July 09, 1944 at the age of 28

First Lieutenant Pucket took part in a highly effective attack against vital oil installation in Ploesti, Rumania. Just after "bombs away," the plane received heavy and direct hits from antiaircraft fire. One crewmember was instantly killed and six others severely wounded. The airplane was badly damaged, two were knocked out, the control cables cut, the oxygen system on fire, and the bomb bay flooded with gas and hydraulic fluid. Regaining control of his crippled plane, First Lieutenant Pucket turned its direction over to the copilot. He calmed the crew, administered first aid, and surveyed the damage. Finding the bomb bay doors jammed, he used the hand crank to open them to allow the gas to escape. He jettisoned all guns and equipment but the plane continued to lose altitude rapidly. Realizing that it would be impossible to reach friendly territory he ordered the crew to abandon ship. Three of the crew, uncontrollable from fright or shock, would not leave. First Lieutenant Pucket urged the others to jump. Ignoring their entreaties to follow, he refused to abandon the three hysterical men and was last seen fighting to regain control of the plane. A few moments later the flaming bomber crashed on a mountainside.



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