Medal of Honor Roll Call: John S. Walmsley Jr.

Dear Readers,

We continue through the Korean War this month and bring you a citation for a member of the youngest of America’s fighting forces, the U.S. Air Force. Only organized as an independent service in 1947, already the branch was producing men for whom the terms duty and honor were personal watch words.


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 John S. Walmsley Jr.

John S. Walmsley Jr.

Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Air Force, 8th Bombardment Squadron, 3d Bomb Group.

Place and date: Near Yangdok, Korea, 14 September 1951.
Entered service at: Baltimore, Md.
Born. 7 January 1920, Baltimore, Md.


Capt. Walmsley, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. While flying a B-26 aircraft on a night combat mission with the objective of developing new tactics, Capt. Walmsley sighted an enemy supply train which had been assigned top priority as a target of opportunity. He immediately attacked, producing a strike which disabled the train, and, when his ammunition was expended, radioed for friendly aircraft in the area to complete destruction of the target. Employing the searchlight mounted on his aircraft, he guided another B-26 aircraft to the target area, meanwhile constantly exposing himself to enemy fire. Directing an incoming B-26 pilot, he twice boldly aligned himself with the target, his searchlight illuminating the area, in a determined effort to give the attacking aircraft full visibility. As the friendly aircraft prepared for the attack, Capt. Walmsley descended into the valley in a low level run over the target with searchlight blazing, selflessly exposing himself to vicious enemy antiaircraft fire. In his determination to inflict maximum damage on the enemy, he refused to employ evasive tactics and valiantly pressed forward straight through an intense barrage, thus insuring complete destruction of the enemy’s vitally needed war cargo. While he courageously pressed his attack Capt. Walmsley’s plane was hit and crashed into the surrounding mountains, exploding upon impact. His heroic initiative and daring aggressiveness in completing this important mission in the face of overwhelming opposition and at the risk of his life, reflects the highest credit upon himself and the U.S. Air Force.


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