The following is from this website : http://www.daveswarb...at/hist-101.htm
27 Dec 1941: Six of the squadron’s PBY-4 Catalinas, led by Lieutenant Burden R. Hastings, conducted an early morning attack against Jolo, in the central Philippines. Enemy aircraft and AA fire broke up the formation before a bombing run could be made. Ensign Elwin L. Christman and his crew followed through alone and made a drop on an enemy vessel at 1,000 feet. The Catalina, heavily damaged by AA fire, caught fire. Three crewmen bailed out, but the others remained with the aircraft until Christman made a controlled water landing near shore. Three crewmen died; the others were eventually rescued. Aviation Machinist Mate’s First Class Andrew K. Waterman was the plane captain and waist gunner on the aircraft. He shot down one enemy aircraft while defending the Catalina during the attack on shipping in the harbor, but in doing so received mortal wounds. For his courageous actions under fire Waterman was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross. Radioman First Class Robert L. Pettit also stuck by his post even after the aircraft, flooded with aviation gas from perforated tanks, caught fire. For his devotion to duty Pettit was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross. Ensign Christman led the surviving members of his crew to safety on the shore of Jolo Island. Lieutenant Jack B. Dawley and the surviving members of his crew, who had also been shot down immediately after dropping their bombs, joined Christman’s group on Jolo Island. The two officers led their crews inland away from the Japanese, eventually reaching U.S. Naval Headquarters at Surabaya, Java, N.E.I. Aircraft Chief Machinist’s Mate Donald D. Lurvey was awarded the Navy Cross for assisting Ensign Cough, the second pilot of Dawley’s aircraft, into a life vest and guiding him to shore. Aviation Machinist’s Mate First Class Joseph Bangust received the Navy Cross posthumously for his action as waist gunner in Dawley’s aircraft, shooting down one enemy aircraft before being mortally wounded by incoming fire. Aviation Machinist’s Mate First Class Evren C. McLawhorn, the plane captain, took over the waist gun position after Bangust was mortally wounded. He received seven wounds during the fight, but survived and received the Navy Cross for his heroism. For their courage under fire and leadership in guiding their crews through enemy-occupied territory to safety, Ensign Christman and Lieutenant Dawley were awarded the Navy Cross. Lieutenant Hastings, as leader of the gallant but unsuccessful strike, was later awarded the Navy Cross for guiding the force into the target area in the face of overwhelming odds. Lieutenant Hastings’ award was made posthumously, as he and his men were the only aircrew captured by the Japanese. They were interrogated by their captors and beheaded on the parade ground of the Jolo garrison. The fourth Catalina shot down during the strike was manned by Lieutenant Hazelton and his crew. Hazelton made a sea landing and the entire crew safely escaped the sinking aircraft into life rafts and were picked up two days later by a squadron aircraft.
RM1c Amon Wesley Gates lost his life on this mission. I am still doing some research to find out exactly which PBY he was a crewmember of. An extraodinary number of Navy Cross medals were awarded for this mission as indicated above.
I have been collecting Posthumous US Navy Purple Hearts awarded to Naval Aviation personnel for quite a while and this is now the earliest example I own.
The engraving style on this is the same as often seen on Pearl Harbor Purple Hearts, with the Rank and USN on the same line.
Edited by KASTAUFFER, 15 January 2009 - 10:21 PM.