Medal of Honor Ci­ta­tion

Flight Journal - - FEATURES -

HOWARD, JAMES H. (Air Mis­sion)

Rank and or­ga­ni­za­tion: Lieu­tenant Colonel, U.S. Army Air Corps.

Place and date: Over Osch­er­sleben, Ger­many, 11 Jan­uary 1944.

En­tered ser­vice at: St. Louis, Mis­souri.

Birth: Can­ton, China.

G.O. No.: 45, 5 June 1944.


For con­spic­u­ous gal­lantry and in­tre­pid­ity above and be­yond the call of duty in ac­tion with the en­emy near Osch­er­sleben, Ger­many, on 11 Jan­uary 1944. On that day Col. Howard was the leader of a group of P51 air­craft pro­vid­ing sup­port for a heavy bomber for­ma­tion on a long-range mis­sion deep in en­emy ter­ri­tory. As Col. Howard’s group met the bombers in the tar­get area the bomber force was at­tacked by nu­mer­ous en­emy fighters. Col. Howard, with his group, and at once en­gaged the en­emy and him­self de­stroyed a Ger­man Me 110. As a re­sult of this at­tack Col. Howard lost con­tact with his group, and at once re­turned to the level of the bomber for­ma­tion. He then saw that the bombers were be­ing heav­ily at­tacked by en­emy air­planes and that no other friendly fighters were at hand. While Col. Howard could have waited to at­tempt to as­sem­ble his group be­fore en­gag­ing the en­emy, he chose in­stead to at­tack sin­gle-handed a for­ma­tion of more than 30 Ger­man air­planes. With ut­ter dis­re­gard for his own safety he im­me­di­ately pressed home de­ter­mined at­tacks for some 30 min­utes, dur­ing which time he de­stroyed 3 en­emy air­planes and prob­a­bly de­stroyed and dam­aged oth­ers. To­ward the end of this en­gage­ment 3 of his guns went out of ac­tion and his fuel sup­ply was be­com­ing dan­ger­ously low. De­spite these hand­i­caps and the al­most in­su­per­a­ble odds against him, Col. Howard con­tin­ued his ag­gres­sive ac­tion in an at­tempt to pro­tect the bombers from the nu­mer­ous fighters. His skill, courage, and in­tre­pid­ity on this oc­ca­sion set an ex­am­ple of hero­ism which will be an in­spi­ra­tion to the U.S. Armed Forces.

Lt. Col. Jim Howard is con­grat­u­lated by As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary of War R. M. Lovett, af­ter re­ceiv­ing the Medal of Honor from Gen. Carl A. Spaatz. (Photo cour­tesy of Stan Piet)

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