Monday, January 2, 2012

Medal of Honor Monday: Jay Zeamer Jr.

"On 16 June 1943, Major Zeamer (then Captain) volunteered as pilot of a bomber on an important photographic mapping mission covering the formidably defended area in the vicinity of Buka, Solomon Islands.  While photographing the Buka airdrome, his crew observed about 20 enemy fighters on the field, many of them taking off.  Despite the certainty of a dangerous attack by this strong force, Major Zeamer proceeded with his mapping run, even after the enemy attack began.  In the ensuing engagement, Major Zeamer sustained gunshot wounds in both arms and legs, one leg being broken.  Despite his injuries, he maneuvered the damaged plane so skillfully that his gunners were able to fight off the enemy during a running fight which lasted 40 minutes.  The crew destroyed at least 5 hostile planes, of which Major Zeamer himself shot down one.  Although weak from loss of blood, he refused medical aid until the enemy had broken combat.  He then turned over the controls, but continued to exercise command despite lapses into unconsciousness and directed the flight to a base 580 miles away.  In this voluntary action, Major Zeamer, with superb skill, resolution, and courage, accomplished a mission of great value."

From Maj. Zeamer, Jr.'s Medal of Honor citation, awarded on January 16, 1944.

Thank you for your service and may you be at peace,

As told by the, himself.

Zeamer's action via the Dogfights program.

Zeamer Building, headquarters of the 43d Airlift Group at Pope Air Force Base Fayetteville, NC.

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