39th Bomb Group (VH)

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Award of The Distingushed Flying Cross
Replacement Crew 11
2 3 4 5

APO 234, c/o Postmaster
San Francisco California

4 September 1945
NO . . . . . . . . 53) -
   Section XV

         AWARD OF THE DISTINGUISHED-FLYING-CROSS--By direction of the President, under the provisions of the Act of Congress, approved 2 July 1926 (Bull 8, WD 1926), and persuant to authority delegated by Headquaters United States Army Strategic Air Forces in letter, file AG 323; subject: "Ddefinitions of Administrative Responsibilities", dated 6 August 1945, announcement is made of the award of the Distinguished-Flying-Cross to the following named officers and enlisted men of the 60th Bombardment Squadron, 39th Bombardment Group.

         For extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight 29 May 1945. These individuals were combat crew members of a B-29 aircraft on a daylight strike from a base in the Marianas against Yokohama, Japan. En route to the target, they were subjected to intense flak, but they resolutely held course and released their bombs squarely on the objective with devasting results. At the instance of bombs away, the entire preceding element was struck by a concentration of anti-aircraft fire. Instantly preceiving that the left wing bomber had beeen mortially struck, they manuvered their own plane to give it protective cover. Struggling out over the enemy coast, fast loosing altitude and flying speed despite the desperate efforts of its crew, the B-29 was viciously attacked by four enemy fighter aircraft. This crew protecting the shattered B-29, drove the fighters off, destroying one. Once out to sea, the almost destroyed bomber was abandoned by its crew. These airmen circled the survivors in the water until relieved by patrol aircraft. They then escorted a second cripped B-29 safely back to base. The outstanding airmenship displayed by these veterans of repeated assults against the Japanese homeland and their courageous protection of their comrades reflect great credit on themselves and the Arny Air Forces.

First Lieutenant WILLIAM K. BROOKS, (then Second Lieutenant), Air Corps, United States Army, as Airplane Commander.

First Lieutenant JAMES R. LITTLE, (then Second Lieutenant), Air Corps, United States Army, as Pilot.

Second Lieutenant SOLLOMAN PRITT, Air Corps, United States Army, as Bombardier.

Second Lieutenant VINCENZO RICCI, Air Corps, United States Army, as Radar Observer.

Flight Officer GEORGE R. HOOD, Air Corps, United States Army, as Navigator.

Flight Officer EDGAR OAKS (then Staff Sergeant), Air Corps, United States Army, as Engineer.

Technical Sergeant DONALD R. HAMANG (then Sergeant), Air Corps, United States Army, as Central Fire Control Gunner.

Staff Sergeant JOHN W. BOWMAN (then Sergeant), Air Corps, United States Army, as Right Blister Gunner.

Staff Sergeant TOIVO KALLIO, (then Sergeant), Air Corps, United States Army, as Radio Operator.

Staff Sergeant JOSEPH C. PARUTI, (then Sergeant), Air Corps, United States Army, as Blister Gunner.

60th Squadron Crew Index
Sources: GO 53 Section 15, 4 Sep 1945 Issued by HQ 20th AF