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Air Corps miniature Medal of Honor


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This past week I accompanied my daughter to Refugio, Texas where she was to put on a cheerleading camp for an adjoining town's high school cheerleaders. Not wanting to spend an entire three days hearing screaming cheerleaders, I toured the small town in the hopes of finding things of interest and located the Refugio County Museum. The museum itself stood out for it was made to look like a log cabin. It was filled with local memorabilia detailing the towns' history. As a military memorabilia collector, my main focus while browsing through any museum or antique store is the consant search for military relics. Those military related articles included a few uniforms donated to the museum from Refugio's local veterans that spanned from WW1 on up to Vietnam. Of particular interest was two photos of an Air Corps pilot located towards the west wall of the museum. As I neared the photos, I caught sight of a medal displayed in an open faced box. The closer I got to the display, I noticed that the medal had the appearance of a Medal of Honor. My suspicion was confirmed when I stood in front of the display and was looking at a miniature Medal of Honor. The museum proprietor, an elderly lady, told me that the family of the Air Corps pilot donated the medal and two photos. I asked for and received permission to photograph the medal. I took the medal out of the box and turned it over, all the while hoping that it would be inscribed on the reverse. Lo and behold, the medal contained the following inscription:

The Congress

To

2nd Lt

Lloyd H. Hughes

Air Corps US Army

Ploesti Romania

1 August 1943

 

What follows are several shots of the medal awarded to 2nd Lt. Lloyd H. Hughes. I apologize for some of the photos. I am lost in the dark when it comes to digital cameras. I tried to get a good shot of the engraving using the macro feature but was not able to get a good focus shot. Didn't have the operating manual with me and my daughter was not nearby, plus the fact that this would the only opportunity for me to get the photos. The museum would close before my daughter got out and we would be gone the next day when the museum was closed.

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2nd Lt Lloyd "Pete" Herbert Hughes was in the US Army Air Corps attached to the 564th Bomber Squadron, 389th Bomber Group, 9th Air Force.

Citation:

For conspicuous gallantry in action and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. On August 1943, 2nd Lt Hughes served in the capacity of pilot of a heavy bombardment aircraft participating in a long and hazardous minimum altitude attack against the Axis oil refineries of Ploesti, Rumania, launched from the northern shores of Africa. Flying in the last formation to attack the target, he arrived in the target area after previous flights had thoroughly alerted the enemy defenses. Approaching the target through intense and accurate antiaircraft fire and dense balloon barrages at dangeroulsy low altitude, his plane received several direct hits from both large and small caliber antiaircraft guns which seriously damaged his aircraft, causing sheets of escaping gasoline to stream from the bomb bay and from the left wing. This damage was inflicted at a time prior to reaching the target when 2nd Lt. Hughes could have made a forced landing in any of the grain fields readily available at the time. The target area was blazing with burning oil tanks and damaged refinery installations from which flames leaped high above the bombing level of the formation. With full knowledge of the consequences of entering this blazing inferno when his airplane was profusely leaking gasoline in two separate locations, 2nd Lt Hughes, motivated only by his high conception of duty which called for the destruction of the assigned target at any cost, did not elect to make a forced landing or turn back . Instead, rather than jeopardize the formation and the success of the attack, he unhesitatingly entered the blazing area and dropped his bomb load with great precision. After successfully bombing the objective, his aircraft emerged from the conflagration with the left wing aflame. Only then did he attempt a forced landing, but because of the advanced stage of the fire enveloping his aircraft, the plane crashed and was consumed. By 2nd Lt. Hughes' heroic decision to complete his mission regardless of the consequences in utter disregard of his own life, and by his gallant and valorious execution of his decision, he has rendered a service to our country in the defeat of our enemies which will everlastingly be outstanding in the annals of our Nation's history.

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This past week I accompanied my daughter to Refugio, Texas where she was to put on a cheerleading camp for an adjoining town's high school cheerleaders. Not wanting to spend an entire three days hearing screaming cheerleaders, I toured the small town in the hopes of finding things of interest and located the Refugio County Museum. The museum itself stood out for it was made to look like a log cabin. It was filled with local memorabilia detailing the towns' history. As a military memorabilia collector, my main focus while browsing through any museum or antique store is the consant search for military relics. Those military related articles included a few uniforms donated to the museum from Refugio's local veterans that spanned from WW1 on up to Vietnam. Of particular interest was two photos of an Air Corps pilot located towards the west wall of the museum. As I neared the photos, I caught sight of a medal displayed in an open faced box. The closer I got to the display, I noticed that the medal had the appearance of a Medal of Honor. My suspicion was confirmed when I stood in front of the display and was looking at a miniature Medal of Honor. The museum proprietor, an elderly lady, told me that the family of the Air Corps pilot donated the medal and two photos. I asked for and received permission to photograph the medal. I took the medal out of the box and turned it over, all the while hoping that it would be inscribed on the reverse. Lo and behold, the medal contained the following inscription:

The Congress

To

2nd Lt

Lloyd H. Hughes

Air Corps US Army

Ploesti Romania

1 August 1943

 

What follows are several shots of the medal awarded to 2nd Lt. Lloyd H. Hughes. I apologize for some of the photos. I am lost in the dark when it comes to digital cameras. I tried to get a good shot of the engraving using the macro feature but was not able to get a good focus shot. Didn't have the operating manual with me and my daughter was not nearby, plus the fact that this would the only opportunity for me to get the photos. The museum would close before my daughter got out and we would be gone the next day when the museum was closed.

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Though you refer to the medal pictured as a miniature, it is actually the full-size original on a breast ribbon rather than the more familiar neck cravat, as presented to his next-of kin. It was very nice of the curator to allow you to photograph this rare award. There were five Medals of Honor presented for the Ploesti mission on 1 August 1943.......Bob

 

*HUGHES, LLOYD H.

(Air Mission)

Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Corps, 564th Bomber Squadron, 389th Bomber Group, 9th Air Force. Place and date: Ploesti Raid, Rumania, 1 August 1943. Entered service at: San Antonio, Tex. Born: 12 July 1921, Alexandria, La. G.O. No: 17, 26 February 1944.

 

Citation:

For conspicuous gallantry in action and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. On August 1943, 2d Lt. Hughes served in the capacity of pilot of a heavy bombardment aircraft participating in a long and hazardous minimum-altitude attack against the Axis oil refineries of Ploesti, Rumania, launched from the northern shores of Africa. Flying in the last formation to attack the target, he arrived in the target area after previous flights had thoroughly alerted the enemy defenses. Approaching the target through intense and accurate antiaircraft fire and dense balloon barrages at dangerously low altitude, his plane received several direct hits from both large and small caliber antiaircraft guns which seriously damaged his aircraft, causing sheets of escaping gasoline to stream from the bomb bay and from the left wing. This damage was inflicted at a time prior to reaching the target when 2d Lt. Hughes could have made a forced landing in any of the grain fields readily available at that time. The target area was blazing with burning oil tanks and damaged refinery installations from which flames leaped high above the bombing level of the formation. With full knowledge of the consequences of entering this blazing inferno when his airplane was profusely leaking gasoline in two separate locations, 2d Lt. Hughes, motivated only by his high conception of duty which called for the destruction of his assigned target at any cost, did not elect to make a forced landing or turn back from the attack. Instead, rather than jeopardize the formation and the success of the attack, he unhesitatingly entered the blazing area and dropped his bomb load with great precision. After successfully bombing the objective, his aircraft emerged from the conflagration with the left wing aflame. Only then did he attempt a forced landing, but because of the advanced stage of the fire enveloping his aircraft the plane crashed and was consumed. By 2d Lt. Hughes' heroic decision to complete his mission regardless of the consequences in utter disregard of his own life, and by his gallant and valorous execution of this decision, he has rendered a service to our country in the defeat of our enemies which will everlastingly be outstanding in the annals of our Nation's history.

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"I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." (Message sent by 1st Lt. Clifton B. Cates. USMC, 96th Co., Soissons, 19 July 1918 - later 19th Commandant of the Marine Corps 1948-1952)

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You can see the loop on the brooch where the neck ribbon would have affixed to it.

Thanks for posting. It was really great to see this.

I really hope they have good security for this. There are too many instances of these being stolen.

Kurt

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You can see the loop on the brooch where the neck ribbon would have affixed to it.

Thanks for posting. It was really great to see this.

I really hope they have good security for this. There are too many instances of these being stolen.

Kurt

 

 

I know what you mean about security. The curator mentioned that there were some medals stolen off the uniforms that were displayed out in the open. Bad placement for the uniforms. They were displayed on the 2nd level out of sight of people below. Some people....

 

Frank

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Thanks for taking the pics! Its amazing what some of these smaller museums have.

 

Kurt

!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


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Imagine, he was only 22 years old. There are no words.

 

there was a 15 year old Marine awarded the MOH for Iwo Jima. Obviously he lied his way in. Valor knows no age

-Brig
GySgt/USMC/0369
RSU-Quantico


"FOR OUR TOMORROWS, THEY GAVE THEIR TODAYS"
RIP
Sgt Jesse 'Jeff Nasty' Balthaser
Sgt John P Huling
Cpl Carlos 'Gilo Monster' Gilorozco
Cpl Stephen C 'Socks' Sockalosky
LCpl Joshua A 'Scottie' Scott
LCpl Jason Lee 'Birdman' Frye
LCpl Nicolas B Morrison
LCpl Jon T Hicks
LCpl Osbrany 'Oz' Montes De Oca
Pvt Lewis T D Calapini
'The SOI 5'

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  • 4 months later...

Thank you for posting this, fightn5th.

 

I am a niece of 2nd Lt Lloyd H. Hughes. Earlier this year, I also photographed this Medal of Honor, but in ignorance, I did not even think to turn it over and look at the back. Later when talking to people about it, one person asked, "What was engraved on the back, if anything?" I had to answer that I didn't know - I didn't know to look. I think he pretty much dismissed me and Pete's Medal of Honor as the unknowing and the unknown.

 

After that I read on their web site that Texas A&M had Pete's Medal of Honor on display in their Memorial Student Center. Curious, I went there to photograph it and was confused as to why there would be two of them. The one in Refugio was supposedly donated by one of my uncles, Pete's half brother. The one at A&M, well, they said theirs was Pete's Medal of Honor. If they were both real Medals of Honor, where did they come from?

 

Just this week I was contacted by someone associated with A&M and he said that the Medals of Honor in those display cases are "locally produced replicas."

 

Between the photos you so graciously uploaded here and the information I received this week, I am confident that I know now where Pete's original Medal of Honor is located.

 

Thank you again, fightn5th

 

R. A. Jordan

2nd Lt. Lloyd H. Hughes

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What a rare and amazing treat. I do hope that it is secured properly in the future!! Does anyone know if the rest of the crew got Silver Stars or some other award?

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Actively seeking WW1 4th and 5th Brigade USMC helmets and also a named WW2 Raider green blouse.
I'd rather be a sparrow than a snail, if I could I surely would....

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  • 2 weeks later...

R.A. Jordan,

 

Thank you for posting detailed pictures of the engraving. thumbsup.gif

This Army Air Corps MOH says it all when it comes to who, what branch, where and when of the Medals of Honor for World War II.

The engraved Army version of the Medals of Honor for the Korean War (at least the ones I've seen) omit the place and date of action.

 

Randy

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  • 2 months later...
Guest driver

Update on Lloyd "Pete" Herbert Hughes' Medal of Honor: Pete's family, my uncles, have decided to donate the medal to Texas A&M for a display at The Corps of Cadets Center. It will be in secure setting and in good company. The Corps of Cadets Center is in the process of gathering together and arranging for displaying the seven Medals of Honor awarded to Texas Aggies during World War II:

 

Horace Seaver Carswell, Jr.

Thomas Weldon Fowler, Sr.

William George Harrell

Lloyd Herbert Hughes, Jr.

George Dennis Keathley

Turney White Leonard

Eli Lamar Whiteley, Sr.

 

www.aggiecorps.org

 

www.rajordan.com/pete/19930227-comm.html

 

Right now, Pete's Medal of Honor is no longer at the Refugio County Museum, but is not yet at the Cadet Center. It will be formally turned over to Texas A&M on Parents Weekend, April 11-13, 2008.

 

My thanks to this forum for educating me about the value of Uncle Pete's Medal of Honor and possible security issues.

 

Rebecca Ann JORDAN

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest driver

Here is a photo that recently surfaced from the Ewing side of the family. This Lt. Gen. Barton K. Yount pinning the Medal of Honor on Mrs. Hazel Dean EWING Hughes, the widow of Lloyd Herbert Hughes in a ceremony at Kelly Field, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas on 18 Apr 1944.

 

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Here is a photo that recently surfaced from the Ewing side of the family. This Lt. Gen. Barton K. Yount pinning the Medal of Honor on Mrs. Hazel Dean EWING Hughes, the widow of Lloyd Herbert Hughes in a ceremony at Kelly Field, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas on 18 Apr 1944.

 

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Great picture! Thanks for sharing! best wishes,

jeff

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  • 1 year later...

Forum members:

 

You are in the MEDALS & DECORATIONS "Reference Section". This area is where posts from the general Medals & Decorations "discussion section" (http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/ind...?showforum=83) are moved for permanent retention and education about the history of the various U.S. medals and military decorations.

 

As time moves forward, some of these posts may have additional information added to them by the moderators of this section. We ask for your input as well, especially in the correction of any erroneous information that may have inadvertently be posted..

 

We encourage further comments about this post and its content. In order to do so, you will need to start a new post in the general Medals & Decorations "discussion section" (here: http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/ind....?showforum=83). And, as needed, we will be pleased to move any new and / or valued information that is derived from your post (and subsequent comments) into this reference area as its own standing post.

 

Please be advised: posting and / or editing is restricted on this post to moderator's and forum staff.

 

Sincerely,

Chris / ADMIN

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