HEADQUARTERS
FAR EAST AIR FORCES
APO 925

GENERAL ORDERS
NUMBER 395
17 August 1951

 
AWARD OF THE SILVER STAR

I. AWARD OF THE SILVER STAR. By direction of the President, under the provisions of the Act of Congress approved 9 July 1918 (WD Bul. 43, 1918), and pursuant to authority contained in Air Force Regulation 30-14, 22 August 1950 and Section VII, General Order Number 63, Department of the Air Force, 19 September 1950, the Silver Star for gallantry in action on 26 May 1951 is awarded to the following named officers:

Captain Daniel J. Miller, United States Air Force. Captain Miller, helicopter pilot, Detachment F, Third Air Rescue Squadron, distinguished himself by gallantry in action against an enemy while rescuing an American pilot forced down behind enemy lines on 15 March 1951. When alerted, Captain Miller was informed that the area in which the downed pilot was located was infected with enemy troops and antiaircraft batteries. The ceiling was 500 feet. Captain Miller realized his highly vulnerable helicopter would be a perfect target at that low altitude, but without thought for his safety, he immediately proceeded on the rescue mission. The slow-moving helicopter attracted small arms fire while crossing the front lines enroute to the crash scene. Despite determined enemy fire, Captain Miller landed and rescued the helpless pilot. Before he cleared the area a fighter escort plane was shot down by the enemy. Without hesitation, Captain Miller attempted a second rescue. However, the pilot was dead. Captain Miller then returned safely to his home base. Captain Miller's courageous actions reflected great credit upon himself, the Far East Air Forces, and the United States Air Force.

First Lieutenant John H. Gregorious, United States Air Force. Lieutenant Gregorious distinguished himself by gallantry in action against enemy forces in Korea on 24 April 1951, while participating in a tactical, low-level bombing mission near Chonwon, Korea with the 728th Bombardment Squadron (Light). Lieutenant Gregorious, piloting a B-26 type light bomber, demonstrated exceptional airmanship and courage while attacking a large concentration of enemy troops and supplies with bombs, rockets, napalm and machine gun fire. Flying through intense enemy ground fire, which damaged his aircraft, Lieutenant Gregorious made repeated attacks, diving his light bomber through narrow mountain canyons to obtain the most effective results. After killing or wounding approximately fifty enemy troops, destroying nine supply-filled buildings, and starting numerous fires in a supply area, Lieutenant Gregorious sighted a downed friendly aircraft and surviving crew members. He immediately pin-pointed their location and called for a rescue helicopter. Awaiting the arrival of the helicopter, and in spite of the damage to his aircraft, he repeatedly strafed groups of enemy troops attempting to reach the downed crew members, subjecting himself to intense enemy ground fire. Upon arrival of the helicopter, Lieutenant Gregorious intensified his strafing attacks to draw the enemy's fire while the helicopter rescued the crew members of the downed airplane. After the last member was aboard the recuse craft, Lieutenant Gregorious turned his crippled aircraft toward home base. Although his fuel supply was low, he successfully made the long flight to his home station across two hundred miles of open sea and landed after he had been in the air for almost seven hours. His aircraft had sustained sixty hits from enemy antiaircraft and small arms fire. The superlative skill, gallantry, and devotion to duty displayed by Lieutenant Gregorious were in keeping with the highest traditions of the service and reflected great credit upon himself, the Far East Air Forces, and the United States Air Force.

First Lieutenant Willis E. Umholtz, United States Air Force. Lieutenant Umholtz distinguished himself by gallantry in action against an enemy on 12 April 1951 as pilot of a B-29, 30th Bombardment Squadron, 19th Bombardment Group, Medium. Twenty-five miles from the target over North Korea, the formation was attacked repeatedly and aggressively by enemy fighters. Despite these attacks, combined with heavy antiaircraft fire, a normal bomb drop was accomplished. Immediately after the bomb drop, the cockpit was struck by an explosive projectile, which killed the bombardier, mortally wounded the aircraft commander and wounded Lieutenant Umholtz in the knee, shoulder and neck. In spite of his wounds, and the violent explosive decompression and loss of oxygen, he assumed immediate control of the aircraft. In order not to divert the crew from giving first aid to the aircraft commander, he did not inform them of his wounds, and still under heavy attack, he flew the formation cross-cockpit until the area of immediate danger was cleared. After landing the badly damaged aircraft at an emergency base and only after assuring himself of the safety of the remaining crew members did he report himself as wounded. Lieutenant Umholtz's quick thinking, courage and devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself, the Far East Air Forces, and the United States Air Force.

BY COMMAND OF LIEUTENANT GENERAL WEYLAND:


 
OFFICIAL:

//SIGNED//
E. E. TORO
Colonel, USAF
Adjutant General

L. C. CRAIGIE
Major General, U. S. Air Force
Vice Commander for Administration and Plans
 

Notes:
  • (Pilot rescued by Capt. Miller) USMC Major Frank H. Presley of VMF312 off the USS Bataan (CVL-29). Maj. Presley was flying a Vought F4U-4 Corsair (BuNo. 96991) when he was hit by antiaircraft fire. After the engine failed, the aircraft crash landed in the Han River near Munson (Source: DPMO Loss Report)
  • (Pilot killed as cited in Capt. Miller's citation) USAF Captain Willis R. Brown of the 12th Fighter-Bomber Squadron, 18th Fighter-Bomber Group. Capt. Willis was flying a North American F-51D Mustang (S/N 44-72009) near Oryong-ni when his aircraft was hit by intense anticraft fire. The aircraft disintegrated in mid-air and crashed. Capt. Brown did not egress the aircraft and was killed in action (Source: DPMO Loss Report)
  • (Downed aircraft and crew cited in 1st lt. Gregorious's citation) Douglas B-26B (S/N 44-34544) of the 728th Bombardment Squadron, 452nd Bombardment Group (Light) was hit by ground fire caused a fire in the left wing. The crew bailed out approximately 20 miles west of Chorwon, Korea. Crew members (USAF): Captain William L. Cara rescued by Third Rescue Squadron; Captain William R. Fitch rescued by Third Rescue Squadron; Staff Sergeant Norman E. Snider captured and returned during Operation Big Switch at the end of the war. (Source: DPMO Loss Report)
  • (1st Lt. Umholtz's aircraft) Boeing B-29A Superfortress (S/N 44-61835) of the 30th Bombardment Squadron, 19th Bombardment Group (M) was attacked by MIG-15's and sustained damage to the vertical stabilizar and cockpit. The aircraft landed safely at an emergency airfield at Suwon, Korea (K-13). Aircraft commander was USAF Captain Harold R. Sproul, killed in action; Bombardier was USAF Second Lieutenant Gene E. Wright, killed in action. (Source: DPMO Loss Report)