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WWII Fighter Identification

During World War II a total of 55 airmen earned Medals of Honor (38 Army Air Force, 6 Navy, and 11 Marines.) 

  Bombers Fighters Other Total
Army 30 6 2* 38
Navy 1** 4 1*** 6
USMC   11   11
    *Pierpont Hamilton and Demas Craw received MOHs for actions on the ground
  **Bruce Van Voorhees flew a PB4Y bomber
***Nathan Gordon received the Medal of Honor flying a PBY-5 in a Search & Rescue Mission

The 21 fighter pilots who earned Medals of Honor did so while flying one of seven different fighter aircraft. EIGHT of these men, 1 Navy and 7 Marines, received their awards while flying the F4F Wildcat

F4F Wildcat

Wildcat Aces &
Medal of Honor Recipients

Edward H. O'Hare (Navy)(KIA)
Henry T. Elrod (USMC)(Posthumous)
John L. Smith (USMC)
Robert E. Galer (USMC)
Joseph J. Foss (USMC)
Harold W. Bauer (USMC)(Posthumous)
Jefferson J. DeBlanc (USMC)
James E. Swett (USMC)

The remaining 13 Fighter Pilot Medals of Honor were distributed among pilots flying six different types of fighters. 

Can you correctly identify the following 
American Fighter Planes? 

THREE Medals of Honor were earned by airmen flying this carrier-borne workhorse. Two members of the U.S. Navy, William Hall and John J. Powers, and one Marine, Richard Fleming, flew the fighter nicknamed Slow but Deadly. Only William Hall survived to wear his award.

 Your Answer

  1. P-38 Lightning
  2. P-47 Thunderbolt
  3. P-51 Mustang
  4. SBD Dauntless 
  5. F4U Corsair

Tying the above fighter with THREE Medal of Honor fighter pilots was this gull-winged favorite of Marine Corps Aviation, made famous by Greg Pappy Boyington and his Black Sheep Squadron. Fellow Marine Kenneth Walsh also earned the Medal of Honor in this fighter and lived to fight again in Korea. Marine Lieutenant Robert Hanson died while earning the Medal in this plane.

Your Answer

  1. P-38 Lightning
  2. P-47 Thunderbolt
  3. P-51 Mustang
  4. SBD Dauntless 
  5. F4U Corsair

The SIX Army Air Force fighter pilots who received Medals of Honor were equally divided between THREE different fighter aircraft. In each case one survived and one paid the ultimate sacrifice for his service to our Nation. (Two of the three who survived did NOT live to see the end of the war.)

Derided as slow and heavy due its multiple large guns and heavy armor, the fighter nicknamed the Jug was slow to gain the confidence of Army fighter pilots. All that changed when Neel Kearby became the FIRST Army Air Force Medal of Honor recipient of the war. Thereafter popular in both the Pacific and Europe, In this same fighter, Raymond Knight was the LAST AF fighter pilot to earn the MOH in in World War II. Knight was killed in action. Although Kearby survived his Medal of Honor action, he was subsequently lost in action.
Your Answer

  1. P-38 Lightning
  2. P-47 Thunderbolt
  3. P-51 Mustang
  4. SBD Dauntless 
  5. F4U Corsair

Richard Dick Bong flew this unique twin-engine, double-tailed fighter into history to become the leading American ACE of all time. Though he survived combat, he was killed in a training accident before the war ended. Thomas McGuire, flying the same fighter, became America's Second Leading ACE of all time in this popular fighter before he was lost in action.

Your Answer

  1. P-38 Lightning
  2. P-47 Thunderbolt
  3. P-51 Mustang
  4. SBD Dauntless 
  5. F4U Corsair

A late-comer to the war, this sleek and fast fighter was effective in all theaters, but was especially beloved in Europe where its extreme range enabled it to escort bombers all the way to and from target. James H. Howard flew it in Europe to become one of only two Army Air Force Medal of Honor fighter pilots to survive the war. The other, William Shomo flew this fighter in the Pacific. 

Your Answer

  1. P-38 Lightning
  2. P-47 Thunderbolt
  3. P-51 Mustang
  4. SBD Dauntless 
  5. F4U Corsair

The F6F Hellcat established an enviable record in the Pacific as a fighter and light bomber. Navy group commander David McCampbell flew the Hellcat to become the Navy's All-Time leading ACE. McCampbell survived the war to wear his well-deserved Medal of Honor and become an icon of U.S. Naval Aviation history. He was the only Hellcat Medal of Honor Recipient.

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WWII Fighter Identification

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