Monday, June 20, 2011

Medal of Honor Monday: David McCampbell

"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as commander, Air Group Fifteen, during combat against enemy Japanese aerial forces in the First and Second Battles of the Philippine Sea.  An inspiring leader, fighting boldly in the face of terrific odds, Commander McCampbell led his fighter planes against a force of eighty Japanese carrier-based aircraft bearing down on our Fleet on June 19, 1944.  Striking fiercely in valiant defense of our surface force, he personally destroyed seven hostile planes during this single engagement in which the outnumbering attack force was utterly routed and virtually annihilated.  During a major Fleet engagement with the enemy on October 24, Commander McCampbell, assisted by but one plane, intercepted and daringly attacked a formation of sixty hostile land-based craft approaching our forces.  Fighting desperately but with superb skill against such overwhelming air power, he shot down nine Japanese planes and, completely disorganizing the enemy group, forced the remainder to abandon the attack before a single aircraft could reach the Fleet.  His great personal valor and indomitable spirit of aggression under extremely perilous combat conditions reflect the highest credit upon Commander McCampbell and the United States Naval Service." 

From Commander McCampbell's Medal of Honor citation, awarded in 1944.

May you be at peace,

McCampbell Terminal at the Palm Beach International Airport
Painting of McCampbell's MoH action

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