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


Congressional Medal Given Flier's Widow

Posthumous award of the Congressional Medal of Honor to Second Lieut. Lloyd H. Hughes, husband of Mrs. Hazel Dean Hughes, 156 Halliday avenue, for heroism that cost him his life in the Ploesti, Rumania, oil raid August 1, 1943, has been announced by the war department.

"Approaching the target through intense and accurate anti-aircraft fire and dense balloon barrages at dangerously low altitude, his plane received several direct hits from both large and small caliber anti-aircraft guns which seriously damaged his aircraft, causing sheets of escaping gasoline to stream from the bomb bay and from the left wing," the citation discloses.

FLEW INTO FLAMES

"With full knowledge of the consequences of entering this blazing inferno (refineries hit by preceding planes were ablaze) when his airplane was profusely leaking gasoline in two separate location. 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."

The citation adds that the bomb load was dropped with great precision and that he then crashed with his plane on fire. Nine [sic - see below] other crew members were killed and two were taken prisoners of war.

Previously all members of the crew had been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, and Mrs. Hughes has received the Purple Heart awarded her husband.

IN ROME RAID

Native of Alexandria, La., Lieutenant Hughes lived most of his life at Corpus Christi [sic - in Texas]. He came to the cadet center in March, 1942, to start his aviation training. He took primary training at Tulsa and basic training at Enid, Okla., and received his wings and commission at Lubbock November 10, 1942.

Two days before his graduation at Lubbock he married the former Miss Hazel Dean Ewing of San Antonio, who has been making her home here (San Antonio) with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. D. Ewing.

After graduation Lieutenant Hughes, a former A. and M. student, took four-engine bomber training at Fort Worth and was station at Tucson, El Paso and Denver for brief periods before coming home in May on six-day leave.

He arrived in England June 14, 1943, and four days later went to North Africa. He participated in the first bombing attack on Rome and then joined the group planning the Ploesti raid.


Note: Includes photo of Pete with caption, "LIEUT. LLOYD H. HUGHES - Heroism cost life."

Corrections:

  • There were ten crew members: Six died in the crash, two died of their wounds within days and two survived to become prisoners of war.

  • Pete was raised in many towns in Texas, like Onalaska, Oak Hurst, Huntsville, and Josserand. Sometime after 1931, the family moved to Refugio, Refugio County where Pete graduated from Refugio High School. It was only after that that he and his family moved to Corpus Christi. He thought of Refugio as his home town.

Source: Personal papers. Newspaper article from Page 2A of The San Antonio Light (now defunct), San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA, dated Monday, 6 Mar 1944.

Created: July 17, 2008

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