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

Highest Medal Awarded to Pilot's Widow

The Medal of Honor recently awarded posthumously to Second Lieut. Lloyd H. Hughes for flying his damaged B-24 Liberator bomber through flames to bomb his target in the Ploesti oil fields of Rumania, was presented to his widow, Mrs. Hazel Dean Hughes, 156 Malliday [sic - Halliday] avenue, at Kelly field Tuesday afternoon.

Mrs. Hughes, who is employed in the statistical control section of the San Antonio Air Service command at Kelly field, received the nation's highest decoration from Lieut. Gen. Barton K. Yount, commander of the Flying Training command, in the office of Brig. Gen. A. W. Vanaman, commander of the San Antonio Air Service command.


Mrs. Hughes, a native of San Antonio, is the former Miss Hazel Dean Ewing. She lives with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. D. Ewing. She and Lieutenant Hughes were married two days before he received his pilot wings at Lubbock in November, 1942. She was graduated from Brackenridge High school in 1941.

The citation accompanying the award of the Medal of Honor discloses that Lieutenant Hughes elected to fly his plan [sic - plane] through the burning oil fields to his target after direct hits from large and small anti-aircraft guns had pierced its gasoline tanks, causing the gasoline to spray into the air.


"With full knowledge of the consequences of entering this blazing inferno when his airplane was profusely leaking gasoline in two separate locations, Lieutenant Hughes, motivated only by his high conception of duty which called for destruction of the assigned target at any cost, did not elect to make a forced landing or turn back from the attack," the citation states.

"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 the craft, the airplane crashed and was consumed."

Nine [sic - see below] other crew members died with Lieutenant Hughes. Two survivors are now prisoners of war.


  • This address was referred to 156 Halliday avenue in this article and this one.

  • 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.

Source: Personal papers. Newspaper article from Section B of The San Antonio Light (now defunct), San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA, dated Wednesday, 19 Apr 1944.

Created: July 17, 2008

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