30 March 2009 family members of 2nd Lt. Lloyd H. "Pete" Hughes '43, presented
the Medal of Honor that he received to the Sam Houston Sanders Corps of Cadets
Center. The ceremony honoring Hughes consisted of Hughes' family members,
veterans, fellow Aggies and members of the 389th Bombardment Group Hughes served
with during his mission over Campina, Romania, during Operation Tidal Wave.
Also in attendance, was a good friend of Hughes and a fellow
Aggie, Colonel Harold L. James '43. Colonel James attended pilot training with
Hughes and was a fellow pilot in the 565th Bomb Squadron within the 389th
Bombardment Group. He piloted on of the B-24's on the Ploesti mission over the
Steua [sic - Steaua] Romania Oil Refinery near Campina, Romania. "Pete was a great friend and
one of the nicest gentlemen you could ever meet," stated James, while attending
the ceremony. "He always had a smile on his face," added Colonel James.
Colonel James was in the last wave of aircraft on that same
mission that Hughes gave his life. James was informed about half way to the
target that his plane was burning up fuel at a very high rate and would more
than likely not be able to return to North Africa. James continued on his
mission and made his bombing run. The then flew to Gazi Emir Airfield near
Izmir, Turkey. He and his crew were captured and interned for several months.
Each one of James's crew, including himself, took his turn to be rescued and
returned to England. Colonel James is a living testament to the bravery of the
men he flew and served with in World War II.
The life story of Hughes was given by Colonel (Ret) James
Woodall '50, Commandant of Cadets from 1977 to 1982. Colonel Bryan Bartels '82,
Professor of Aerospace Studies, recited the Hughes' Medal of Honor citation.
During the ceremony, a presentation of the Medal of Honor to
Texas A&M was made by the Hughes and Jordan families. The actual medal was
presented posthumously to Hughes's widow, Hazel Ewing Hughes, on 18 April 1944
in a ceremony at Kelly Air Field in San Antonio. The award was presented by Lt.
General Barton K. Yount on behalf of General Hap. H. Arnold, Commanding General
of the Army Air Force [sic].
Hughes' Medal of Honor has found its permanent home at the
Sanders Corps of Cadets Center through the hard efforts of Colonel Woodall. His
wish is to bring to A&M all seven Medals of Honor that were presented to the
seven Aggies during World War II. The medals on display at the Memorial Student
Center are "specimen" medals and are not the actual medals. Currently, the
Sanders Corps of Cadets is displaying four of the seven Medals of Honor received
by Lt. Lloyd H. Hughes '54, Sgt. George D. Keathley '37, Lt. Turney W. Leonard
'42 and Lt. Eli L. Whitley [sic - Whiteley] '41.
Pictured left to right, John Raymond Jordan, Jr., Ann Key Jordan, and William
brothers and sister-in-law of Lloyd Hebert Hughes