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
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
"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.
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.