39th Bomb Group (VH)

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Award of Distinguished Flying Cross

APO 234, c/o Postmaster
San Francisco California

5 September 1945
NO . . . . . . . . 54) -
   Section V

         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 61st Bombardment Squadron, 39th Bombardment Group.

         For extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight over the Japanese home island of Honshu, Japan 22 June 1945. These individuals were combat crew members of a B-29 aircraft which led an entire bombardment group on the highly successful daylight formation strike from a base in the Marianas against the Mitsubishi aircraft factory at Tamashina. Completing assembly at the briefed time in spite of continuously-pointed, heavy-caliber anti-aircraft fire in the assembly area, they led the formation unweaveringly in the flight to the inital point and on the bomb run to the target. They released their projectiles on the objective, and achieved an excellent bombing pattern with devastating results. This crew then led the formation through more anti-aircraft fire on the withdrawal. During the entire operation, the exceptional coolness and courage, the outstanding teamwork and airmanship, and the superior skill of these veterans of repeated assaults against the Japanese homeland were constantly demonstrated. Their actions materially contributed to the completion of a mission in the sucessful prosecution of the war, reflectting great credit upon themselves and the Army Air Forces.

First Lieutenant HARRY D. HINK, Air Corps, United States Army, as Pilot.

Flight Officer JOHN P. ECKERT (then Master Sergeant), Air Corps, United States Army, as Flight Engineer.

Technical Sergeant ARTHUR LOERA (then Staff Sergeant), Air Corps, United States Army, as Central Fire Control Gunner.

Staff Sergeant GERALD C. KELLY, Air Corps, United States Army, as Radio Operator.

Staff Sergeant FRANK C. WEIN (then Sergeant), Air Corps, United States Army, as Tail Gunner.

Staff Sergeant ROBERT G. WINDELS, (then Sergeant) Air Corps, United States Army, as Right Blister Gunner.

Sergeant STANLEY L. WESTOVER, JR., Air Corps, United States Army, as Left Blister Gunner.

Source: GO 54 sec 5 dated 5 sep 1945, HQ 20th AF