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39th Bomb Group (VH)


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Award of Distinguished Flying Cross
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HEADQUATERS TWENTIETH AIR FORCE
APO 234, c/o Postmaster
San Francisco California

GENERAL ORDERS )    
15 September 1945
NO . . . . . . . . 64) -
   Section XXXI

         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:

        For extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight 11 May 1945. These individuals were members of the combat crew of a B-29 aircraft in the highly successful strike at the important Kawanishi aircraft factory at Kob, Japan. From the inital point into the target area, they were subjected to a withering concentration of heavy anti-aircraft fire and phosphorus bursts. So accurate was the enemy flak that numerous hits were sustained by their airplane, causing serious damage to the hydraulic system and rendering the radio inoperative. Inspite of this determined opposition and the damage inflicted, these crewmen, withoutstanding courage and skill, maintained their aircraft exactly on the briefed heading to the target without evasion tactics. At the target, where the enemy's defenses were most highly concentrated, they released their bombs with such accuracy that they fell squarely on the target with devastating effect. Shortly after the bombs were dropped, they were viciously attacked by an estimated 15 interceptor planes. These attacks were succuessfully repullsed with severe damage to the enemy fighters. The crew memebers of this Superfortress alone were credited with the damaging of two. Arriving at the home base in the Marianas, they brought the bomber to a safe landing in spite of the fact that the damaged hydraulic system had rendered the brakes useless. The courage and fortitude displayed by these veteran crewmen, together with their outstanding professional skill in carrying out an important assignment which contributed materially to the successful prosecution the war, reflect great credit on themselves and the Army Air Forces.

Captain EDMOND T. ARVIN, JR., (Then First Lieutenant), Air Corps, United States Army, as Airplane Commander.

First Lieutenant STANLEY A. LAPINSKI, (Then Second Lieutenant), Air Corps, United States Army, as Radar Observer.

Staff Sergeant J C WILKES JR, (Then Corporal), Air Corps, United States Army, as Radio Operator.


The above order was supplied by Greg Wilkes, son of S/Sgt James C. Wilkes Jr., Radio Operator, Crew 43.

Source: GO 64 Sec XXXI 15 Sept 1945, HQ 20th AF