*CASTLE, FREDERICK W.
Rank and organization: Brigadier General.
Assistant Commander, 4th Bomber Wing, U.S. Army Air Corps. Place and date:
Germany, 24 December 1944. Entered service at: Mountain Lake, N.J. Born:
14 October 1908, Manila P.I. G.O. No. 22, 28 February 1947.
He was air commander and leader of more than 2,000 heavy bombers in a strike against
German airfields on 24 December 1944. En route to the target, the failure of 1 engine
forced him to relinquish his place at the head of the formation. In order not to endanger
friendly troops on the ground below, he refused to jettison his bombs to gain speed
maneuverability. His lagging, unescorted aircraft became the target of numerous enemy
fighters which ripped the left wing with cannon shells. set the oxygen system afire, and
wounded 2 members of the crew. Repeated attacks started fires in 2 engines, leaving the
Flying Fortress in imminent danger of exploding. Realizing the hopelessness of the
situation, the bail-out order was given. Without regard for his personal safety he
gallantly remained alone at the controls to afford all other crewmembers an opportunity to
escape. Still another attack exploded gasoline tanks in the right wing, and the bomber
plunged earthward. carrying Gen. Castle to his death. His intrepidity and willing
sacrifice of his life to save members of the crew were in keeping with the highest
traditions of the military service.