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2nd Lt. Lloyd Herbert "Pete" Hughes, Jr.
(12 Jul 1921 - 1 Aug 1943)


389th BOMBARDMENT GP (H) - 564th BOMBARDMENT SQ (H)
THE CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR

2nd LT LLOYD H. HUGHES

THE CITATION
 

  I. MEDAL OF HONOR - BY DIRECTION OF THE PRESIDENT, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF CONGRESS APPROVED 9 JUL 1918 (BULL.43,WD,1918), A MEDAL OF HONOR WAS AWARDED POSTHUMOUSLY BY THE WAR DEPARTMENT IN THE NAME OF CONGRESS TO THE FOLLOWING NAMED OFFICER . . .
  SECOND LIEUTENANT LLOYD H. HUGHES, O-566262, AIR CORPS, UNITED STATES ARMY. FOR CONSPICIOUS GALLANTRY IN ACTION AND INTREPIDITY AT THE RISK OF HIS LIFE ABOVE AND BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY. ON 1 AUGUST 1943 LIEUTENANT 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, ROUMANIA, 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 AIRPLANE RECEIVED SEVERAL DIRECT HITS FROM BOTH LARGE AND SMALL CALIBRE 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 LIEUTENANT 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 REACHED HIGH ABOVE THE BOMBING LEVEL OF THE FORMATION. WITH FULL KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF ENTERING THIS BLAZING INFERNO, WHEN HIS AIRPLANE WAS PROFUSLY LEAKING GASOLINE IN TWO SEPARATE LOCATIONS LIEUTENANT 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 AIRPLANE CRASHED AND WAS CONSUMED. BY LIEUTENANT HUGHES' HEROIC DECISION TO COMPLETE HIS MISSION REGARDLESS OF  THE CONSEQUENCES, IN UTTER DISREGARD FOR HIS OWN LIFE, AND BY HIS GALLANT  AND VALOROUS EXECUTION OF THIS DECISION, HE RENDERED A SERVICE TO OUR  COUNTRY IN THE DEFEAT OF OUR ENEMIES, WHICH WILL BE EVERLASTINGLY OUTSTANDING IN THE ANNALS OF OUR NATION'S HISTORY.


Corrections:

  • Pete's service number was O-666292, not O-566292.

  • The word "conspicuous" is misspelled.

  • The word "profusely" is misspelled.

Notes:

  • The word calibre" is the British spelling of "caliber." Or it may just be a typographical error.

  • The artist's signature is "K WILBUR ENGLAND 1944" and is probably Kenneth Wilbur, Jr. born in 1924 in New York and enlisted in Pinellas County, Florida. He was an Administrative Specialist in 564th Intelligence.

  • The 8th Air Force logo is just above the the citation text. The 389th Bombardment Group was attached to the 8th Air Force, then was loaned to the 9th Air Force.

  • Best estimates puts the creation of this document between 26 Feb 1944 and 24 Mar 1944.

  • The original document is about 7" by 9" (seven inches by nine inches.)

  • My thanks to Pat and Tom Hoff for permission to use this image.

Source: From the personal papers of Pat and Tom Hoff

Created: June 08, 2008

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