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Major Don M. Beerbower, AAF Hero and Ace


Allan H.
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Major Don Beerbower was born in Davidson, Saskatchewan, Canada, but enlisted in the US AAF in Minnesota. Major Beerbower was one of the United States' highest scoring Aces with credit for 15.5 aerial victories. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_M._Beerbower

He flew a huge number of missions in the ETO, and gave his life during a mission in December 1944. Major Beerbower was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Flying Cross with oakleaf cluster, the Air Medal and Purple Heart, What really got my attention was the fact that the good major received a whopping TWENTY FIVE oakleaf clusters on his Air Medal! If he was getting an Air Medal for every five missions, he would have had over 80 flights over enemy controlled Europe. 

I've taken the liberty of sharing his DSC and transmittal cards for his medals. Has anyone ever come across a WWII flyer with more oakleaf clusters?

 

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KASTAUFFER

Thats the most AMs I have seen for WWII. I bet a number of them were for planes shot down, not missions.

 

Kurt

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DSC Citation From the Hall of Heroes....

 

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Major (Air Corps) Don Merril Beerbower, United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Pilot of a P-51 Fighter Airplane in the 353rd Fighter Squadron, 354th Fighter Group, Ninth Air Force, in aerial combat against enemy forces on 9 August 1944, while leading his squadron on an armed reconnaissance mission in the European Theater of Operations. On that date, Major Beerbower located an enemy airfield on which many aircraft were parked. In order to test the ground defenses, Major Beerbower made an experimental pass at the field destroying an enemy plane and a gun emplacement. Then, while his squadron swept over the field from one direction, he fearlessly attacked from another quarter, boldly exposing himself to concentrated fire from all sides of the field and effectively screening his comrades from the intense ground fire. Major Beerbower's airplane was struck repeatedly and crashed into the ground. The outstanding heroism and devotion to duty displayed by Major Beerbower on this occasion reflect highest credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United States.

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decwriter

These guys definitely have impressive records.  I found one flier who racked up Air Medals in WWII and Korea that will surely rank with the best of them.

 

East, Clyde B. AM Card.jpg

East, Clyde B. AM Card2.jpg

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