Military Times NOW hosts the HomeOfHeroes  Awards & Citations Database

 

Stories of American Heroes - Brought to you from the "Home of Heroes" - Pueblo, Colorado

Full Text Citations For Award of
The Navy Cross 

 
To U.S. Army Air Force Personnel
World War II
(11 Awards)

To All Who Shall See These Presents Greeting:

This is to Certify that
The President of the United States of America
Takes Pleasure in Presenting


THE NAVY CROSS
to

 

BARBER, REX T.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Rex T. Barber, First Lieutenant (Air Corps), U.S. Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Pilot of a P-38 fighter airplane in the 339th Fighter Squadron, 37th Fighter Group, THIRTEENTH Air Force, U.S. Army Air Forces, attached to a Marine Fighter Command in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands on 18 April 1943. Participating in a dangerously long interception flight, First Lieutenant Barber contacted a formation of two enemy bombers escorted by six fighters in a complete surprise approach. Quickly engaging the enemy, he pressed his tactical advantage and struck fiercely, destroying one Japanese bomber at such close range that fragments from the explosion lodged in the wings of his plane, and shooting down the escorting enemy fighter plane which had been attempting to divert the attack. His brilliant airmanship and determined fighting spirit throughout a daring and vital mission were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Armed Services.
Home Town: Culver, Oregon

EARECKSON, WILLIAM O.
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to William O. Eareckson, Colonel, U.S. Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism in action against enemy aggressor forces while serving with Bomber Command, ELEVENTH Air Force, U.S. Army Air Forces, in action in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska. On 3 June 1942, Japanese carrier planes attacked ill-prepared Dutch Harbor on Unalaska Island. Colonel Eareckson led a flight of B-26s through impossible weather in an attempt to find and attack the Japanese fleet with torpedoes, which he had scrounged from the Navy. After two relatively unsuccessful attacks, the enemy fleet withdrew and occupied Attu and Kiska Islands at the western end of the Aleutian chain. Colonel Eareckson's bombers attacked enemy island bases and shipping whenever fog and gale-force winds permitted. Colonel Eareckson earned the respect and devotion of his men by flying in every position--from left-seater to tailgunner. The Aleutian campaign ended with the Japanese evacuation of Kiska in August 1943.
Other Award: Distinguished Service Cross (WWII)

GATES, CHARLES R.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Charles R. Gates, First Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism while serving a pilot of an unarmed aircraft during operations against the enemy in the Tokyo Bay area on 13 August 1945. Despite intense fire from enemy anti-aircraft batteries and nearby naval vessels, First Lieutenant Gates courageously landed in the waters of the Tokyo Bay and rescued three carrier aircraft survivors, thereby saving them from inevitable capture of death. His courage, determination, airmanship and complete devotion to duty throughout were outstanding and in keeping with the highest traditions of the Military Service.

HALE, WILLIAM
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to William Hale, Major General, U.S. Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism and courageous devotion to duty as Commanding General of the SEVENTH Air Force, U.S. Army Air Forces, while leading a heavy Bombardment Squadron during attacks against strongly held enemy bases on Nauru Island and the Tarawa Island during the period 20 to 23 April 1943. Participating in a daring flight over enemy- controlled territory, Major General Hale led his squadron in a brilliantly executed bombing attack upon securely fortified enemy positions and succeeded in inflicting severe damage upon Japanese personnel and material. His forceful and inspiring leadership throughout a vital and hazardous mission, and his superior airmanship combined with the gallant fighting spirit of his command, reflect great credit upon the United States Armed Service.

*HINE, RAYMOND K. (MIA)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Raymond K. Hine (0-431436), First Lieutenant (Air Corps), U.S. Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Pilot of a P-38 fighter airplane in the 339th Fighter Squadron, 37th Fighter Group, THIRTEENTH Air Force, U.S. Army Air Forces, attached to a Marine Fighter Command in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands on 18 April 1943. Lieutenant Hine participated in a Lightning fighter attack to Bougainville on a special interception mission. This mission was the longest planned fighter interception ever completed, consisting of a 494 mile, low-altitude, indirect approach to the estimated position of the enemy formation, which was located with faultless precision, achieving complete tactical surprise. The enemy force consisted of two bombers escorted by six fighters and the coordination, calculated attack of our aircraft not only destroyed in flames the primary target, the heavy bombers, but accounted for a confirmed total of six enemy aircraft. Lieutenant Hine flew win on First Lieutenant Besby Holmes in the attacking section of the flight, and stayed in formation with him in spite of the fact that Lieutenant Holmes experienced difficulty in dropping his wing tank when the enemy formation was first sighted. Together they attacked the Zeroes pursuing Lieutenant Barber, and broke up their attack. Together they attacked and helped to destroy a third enemy bomber flying low over the water near Koila Point, which was finally exploded by Lieutenant Barber. They then engaged a number of Zeros, and it appears that Lieutenant Hine accounted for one of three shot down during this stage of the engagement. At about that time his left engine was observed to be smoking, and he was last seen losing altitude south of Shortland Island and since has been missing in action. Lieutenant Hine by his firm courage, flying skill, faultless air discipline contributed largely to the perfect timing and teamwork which were the prerequisites of success.
Home Town: Marion County, Indiana
Awards: Navy Cross (WWII), Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, Purple Heart

HOLMES, BESBY FRANK
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Besby Frank Holmes, Captain (Air Corps), [then First Lieutenant), U.S. Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Pilot of a P-38 fighter airplane in the 339th Fighter Squadron, 37th Fighter Group, THIRTEENTH Air Force, U.S. Army Air Forces, attached to a Marine Fighter Command in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands on 18 April 1943. Participating in a dangerously long interception flight, First Lieutenant Holmes contacted a hostile formation consisting of two Japanese bombers and six escorting fighters in a complete surprise approach. Skillfully out-maneuvering the enemy, he pressed home his tactical advantage and struck fiercely, destroying one of the violently attacking enemy fighters. Shortly thereafter, upon sighting a lone enemy bomber approaching Kahili, First Lieutenant Holmes immediately took the offensive and sent the hostile plane flaming into the sea. His brilliant airmanship and determined fighting spirit throughout a daring and vital mission were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Armed Services.
Commander, Southern Pacific Fleet: Serial 001038 (June 17, 1943)
Born: December 5, 1917 at San Francisco, California
Home Town: San Francisco, California
Awards: Navy Cross (WWII), Legion of Merit, 3@ Distinguished Flying Crosses, Air Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal

LANPHIER, THOMAS G., JR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Thomas G. Lanphier, Jr., Captain (Air Corps), U.S. Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Pilot of a P-38 fighter airplane in the 339th Fighter Squadron, 37th Fighter Group, THIRTEENTH Air Force, U.S. Army Air Forces, attached to a Marine Fighter Command in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands on 18 April 1943. Leading a division of fighter planes at dangerously low altitude in the longest planned interception mission ever attempted, Captain Lanphier contacted the assigned objective, consisting of two enemy bombers and six escort fighters, with complete tactical surprise and launched a fierce, determined attack. In the ensuing engagement he operated with such daring courage and excellent marksmanship that he sent the leading bomber crashing in flames, and subsequently shot down one of the hostile fighters when it furiously attacked his plane. The outstanding professional skill and inspiring leadership displayed by Captain Lanphier under extremely adverse conditions contributed greatly to the remarkable success of this vital mission and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Armed Services.
Born: November 27, 1915 at Panama City, Panama
Home Town: McCall, Idaho

MITCHELL, JOHN W.
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to John W. Mitchell, Major, U.S. Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Pilot of a P-38 fighter airplane in the 339th Fighter Squadron, 37th Fighter Group, THIRTEENTH Air Force, U.S. Army Air Forces, attached to a Marine Fighter Command in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands on 18 April 1943. Major Mitchell was commander of a dangerously long interception flight, leading his formation in destroying two Japanese bombers and six enemy fighters. His brilliant airmanship and determined fighting spirit throughout a daring and vital mission were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Armed Services.
Other Award: Distinguished Service Cross (WWII), Navy Cross (WWII)

RAIRIGH, JOHN E.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to John E. Rairigh (0-753303), First Lieutenant (Air Corps), U.S. Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service as Senior Pilot of a PBY-5A Rescue Plane in the 4th Emergency Rescue Squadron, TWENTIETH Air Force, U.S. Army Air Forces, in action in the Sea of Japan on 30 July 1945. First Lieutenant Rairigh courageously set out to rescue a downed pilot twelve miles off the northern cost of Honshu, Japan, knowing full well that completion of the mission would mean ditching his plane under adverse conditions and after dark in the open sea in the vicinity of the Task Force from which he had started. The rescue of the downed pilot was accomplished under fire from an enemy destroyer. Shortly after take-off he was advised that one of his fighter escorts had been shot down in a position relatively nearer the Japanese destroyer than that of the first rescue. With complete disregard for his own safety, Lieutenant Rairigh landed and commenced the rescue of the second pilot while under continuous fie by automatic weapons from the enemy destroyer. When the line which was being used to bring the second downed pilot aboard parted, he circled his plane down wind towards the approaching destroyer in order to make an up-wind approach towards a more favorable rescue point. With the second pilot safely aboard, the plane was forced to fly through heavy anti-aircraft fire on reaching the shore line on the return trip. Upon arrival over the Task Force and although never having made an open sea landing at night, he skillfully made use of the meager aids which could be afforded under the circumstances by the ships available and set his plane down with no injury to his crew or the rescued pilots. His skill and courage were at all times in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Com3rdFl Serial 0455 (August 4, 1945)
Home Town: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

SAUNDERS, LAVERNE G.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Laverne G. Saunders, Brigadier General [then Colonel], U.S. Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service as Commanding Officer of the 11th Bombardment Group (H), THIRTEENTH Air Force, U.S. Army Air Forces, in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands on 18 November 1942. Brigadier General Saunders led his group of bombers in a daring daylight raid on enemy shipping in the face of severe antiaircraft and enemy fighter opposition in the Buin-Tonolei area of the Solomon Islands. At least two 1,000-pound bomb hits were scored on enemy vessels and 12 enemy aircraft were destroyed. After his own airplane was badly damaged and it became necessary to land his plane in enemy territory, he skillfully accomplished a water landing near shore thereby permitting the remaining members of his crew to reach safety. Brigadier General Saunders' outstanding courage, daring airmanship and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Armed Service.
Born: at Stratford, South Dakota
Home Town: Stratford, South Dakota

THOMPSON, JOHN ARCHIBALD
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to John Archibald Thompson, Captain, U.S. Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service as Commanding Officer and Pilot of a P-39 fighter airplane in the 67th Fighter Squadron, 58th Fighter Group, FIFTH Air Force, U.S. Army Air Forces, in action against enemy forces at Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, during the period 27 August 1942 through 25 September 1942. Captain Thompson led his fighter squadron in determined bombing and ground strafing attacks on enemy troops and surface forces, thereby contributing materially to the defense of Henderson Field despite the handicap of primitive operating conditions and shortage of equipment. In particular, on 8 September, with units of his squadron, Captain Thompson covered the withdrawal of our raiding forces to their boats in remarkably successful and complete evacuation operations. Captain Thompson's outstanding courage, daring airmanship and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 313 (April 1943)
Home Town: Tacoma, Washington

 

 

Please Contact Us if you have further information on any of these awards.

.

Copyright 1999-2014 by HomeOfHeroes.com
     2115 West 13th Street - Pueblo, CO 81003

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Unless otherwise noted, all materials by C. Douglas Sterner

Home Page

Hall Of Heroes

MOH Community 

NEWS

Kidz Page

FEATURE STORIES
  Profiles In Courage | Wings of ValorThe Brotherhood of Soldiers At War | Go For Broke
 Pearl Harbor  | A Splendid Little War | Shinmiyangyo-Korea 1871 | Quick Links to MOH Stories

RECIPIENT WEB SITES
Barney Barnum  |  Jack Lucas  |  Mitch Paige  |  Wesley Fox  |  Sammy Davis
Roger Donlon
Peter Lemon  |  Drew Dix  |  Mike Novosel

Medal Of Honor Calendar  |  Books By MOH RecipientsSteve Ryan MOH Posters

What Does 
A Hero Look Like?

Click on Superman To Find out


FOOTNOTES
In
HISTORY

NEW
Looking for a Hero or trying to verify awards? We have posted the names of more than 120,000 recipients of the highest awards in a BRAND NEW FREE SECTION
DECORATIONS 1862 - Present
.

Military Medals & Awards 

Information and Images of ALL Military Medals
The Purple Heart 
How to Request Records/Medals Earned
  How to Obtain Military Records of a Family Member 

Honor Roll of America's Military Heroes


Brevet Medal


DSC 


Navy Cross 


Air Force Cross 

Distinguished Service Medals

Defense - Army - Navy - Air Force - Coast Guard - Merchant Marine



Silver Star

U.S. History and Information
The History Room | U.S. Flag HistoryHistory of the Flag |
How to Display the Flag
| The National Anthem | The Pledge of Allegiance The American Creed | The Seal of our Nation | Our National Symbol
Arthur MacArthur's Flag | William Carney's Flag | FDR's Flag of Liberation]

FLAG DAY           STATE FLAGS
American Presidents
U.S. Presidents | Inaugural Addresses

God & Country
ROOM

MY HERO Web Page Creator 
(Create a Tribute to the Hero in Your Own Life)

SEARCH
bn_search.jpg (3967 bytes)
OUR SITE

EDUCATIONAL

GAME ARCADE

OR
Quick Quiz

***
Electronic Post Cards
Talking Points 

Remembering 911
The Binch
Citizens Speak Out

BEYOND THE MEDAL

This 5 Disc DVD Education Program has been distributed to over 17,500 Public & Private High Schools and is now available to the public!


 

HomeOfHeroes.com now has more than 25,000 pages of US History for you to view.