Edward S. Michael

Edward Stanley Michael (May 2, 1918 – May 10, 1994) was a United States Army Air Forces officer and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in World War II.

Michael joined the Army Air Corps from his birth city of Chicago, Illinois in November 1940[1] and by April 11, 1944 was a first lieutenant piloting B-17 Flying Fortresses with the 364th Bomb Squadron, 305th Bombardment Group. On that day, while flying a mission over Germany, his aircraft was singled out by enemy fighters and severely damaged by their cannon fire. As flames burned in the plane's bomb bay, Michael, who had been seriously wounded, ordered his crew to bail out. Finding that one crewman's parachute was unusable, he returned to the controls and managed to evade the enemy fighters and heavy anti-aircraft fire to fly his bomber into Allied territory. He lost consciousness due to blood loss from his wounds, but awoke in time to make a successful crash landing on English soil. For his actions, he was awarded the Medal of Honor nine months later, on January 15, 1945.

Michael was transferred to the Air Force after the war, and retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 1971.[2]

Michael joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1978. He died at age 76 and was buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Springville, Utah.

Michael's official Medal of Honor citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving as pilot of a B17 aircraft on a heavy-bombardment mission to Germany, April 11, 1944. The group in which 1st Lt. Michael was flying was attacked by a swarm of fighters. His plane was singled out and the fighters pressed their attacks home recklessly, completely disregarding the Allied fighter escort and their own intense flak. His plane was riddled from nose to tail with exploding cannon shells and knocked out of formation, with a large number of fighters following it down, blasting it with cannon fire as it descended. A cannon shell exploded in the cockpit, wounded the copilot, wrecked the instruments, and blew out the side window. 1st Lt. Michael was seriously and painfully wounded in the right thigh. Hydraulic fluid filmed over the windshield making visibility impossible, and smoke filled the cockpit. The controls failed to respond and 3,000 feet were lost before he succeeded in leveling off. The radio operator informed him that the whole bomb bay was in flames as a result of the explosion of 3 cannon shells, which had ignited the incendiaries. With a full load of incendiaries in the bomb bay and a considerable gas load in the tanks, the danger of fire enveloping the plane and the tanks exploding seemed imminent. When the emergency release lever failed to function, 1st Lt. Michael at once gave the order to bail out and 7 of the crew left the plane. Seeing the bombardier firing the navigator's gun at the enemy planes, 1st Lt. Michael ordered him to bail out as the plane was liable to explode any minute. When the bombardier looked for his parachute he found that it had been riddled with 20mm. fragments and was useless. 1st Lt. Michael, seeing the ruined parachute, realized that if the plane was abandoned the bombardier would perish and decided that the only chance would be a crash landing. Completely disregarding his own painful and profusely bleeding wounds, but thinking only of the safety of the remaining crewmembers, he gallantly evaded the enemy, using violent evasive action despite the battered condition of his plane. After the plane had been under sustained enemy attack for fully 45 minutes, 1st Lt. Michael finally lost the persistent fighters in a cloud bank. Upon emerging, an accurate barrage of flak caused him to come down to treetop level where flak towers poured a continuous rain of fire on the plane. He continued into France, realizing that at any moment a crash landing might have to be attempted, but trying to get as far as possible to increase the escape possibilities if a safe landing could be achieved. 1st Lt. Michael flew the plane until he became exhausted from the loss of blood, which had formed on the floor in pools, and he lost consciousness. The copilot succeeded in reaching England and sighted an RAF field near the coast. 1st Lt. Michael finally regained consciousness and insisted upon taking over the controls to land the plane. The undercarriage was useless; the bomb bay doors were jammed open; the hydraulic system and altimeter were shot out. In addition, there was no airspeed indicator, the ball turret was jammed with the guns pointing downward, and the flaps would not respond. Despite these apparently insurmountable obstacles, he landed the plane without mishap.[3]

Edward Stanley Michael
Portrait of a gray-haired white man wearing a dark blue suit and tie
Michael in 1986
BornMay 2, 1918
Chicago, Illinois
DiedMay 10, 1994 (aged 76)
Place of burial
Evergreen Cemetery in Springville, Utah
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Army Air Forces
Years of service1940 - 1971
RankLieutenant Colonel
Unit364th Bombardment Squadron, 305th Bomb Group (Heavy)
Battles/warsWorld War II
AwardsMedal of Honor
Distinguished Flying Cross
Air Medal (5)

See also

References

  1. ^ WWII Army Enlistment Records
  2. ^ Military service profile
  3. ^ "Medal of Honor recipients - World War II (M-S)". Medal of Honor citations. United States Army Center of Military History. June 8, 2009. Retrieved 2007-12-13.

External links

305th Operations Group

The 305th Operations Group is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the 305th Air Mobility Wing. It is stationed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey.

During World War II, the group's predecessor unit, the 305th Bombardment Group was one of the first VIII Bomber Command Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress units in England, and, was one of the most-decorated USAAF heavy-bombardment groups in the European Theater. 1st Lt William R. Lawley, Jr. and 1st Lt Edward S. Michael, pilots in the 364th Bomb Squadron, each received the Medal of Honor.

While commanded by Colonel Curtis LeMay the 305th Bomb Group pioneered many bomber flying formations and bombing procedures that became the standard operating procedures in the Eighth Air Force.

The group suffered the heaviest loss of the 14 October 1943 Schweinfurt–Regensburg mission, and for this reason, was given a Nazi flag found flying in the city when it was captured by U.S. troops in April 1945.

Air Medal

The Air Medal is a military decoration of the United States Armed Forces. It was created in 1942 and is awarded for single acts of heroism or meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight.

Edward Michael

Edward Michael may refer to:

Edward S. Michael (1918–1994), United States Army Air Forces officer and Medal of Honor recipient

Edward Salim Michael (1921–2006), composer of symphonic music

Index of World War II articles (E)

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European-American Unity and Rights Organization

European Advisory Commission

European Air War

European Kindred

European Molecular Biology Laboratory

European Synchrotron Radiation Facility

European Theater of Operations

European Theater

European Theatre of World War II

Europäische Freiwillige

Eustaquio de Escandón y Barrón

Eva-Maria Buch

Eva Braun

Eva Green

Eva Olliwier

Eva Schulze-Knabe

Evacuation of civilians from the Channel Islands in 1940

Evacuation of Finnish Karelia

Evacuation of German civilians during the end of World War II

Evacuation of Karafuto and Kuriles

Evacuation of Manchukuo

Evacuation of Tallinn (1941)

Evacuations of civilians in Britain during World War II

Evald Mikson

Evan Mecham

Evans Carlson

Evelyn Barker

Evelyn Colyer

Evelyn Owen

Evelyn Sharp (aviator)

Evelyn Waugh

Evelyn Witthoff

Events leading to the attack on Pearl Harbor

Events preceding World War II in Asia

Events preceding World War II in Europe

Everett F. Larson

Everett P. Pope

Evert Lundquist

Evert Nilsson

Everton Santos

Everybody Go Home

Evripidis Bakirtzis

Evsei Vainrub

Ewa Paradies

Ewald-Heinrich von Kleist-Schmenzin

Ewald von Kleist-Schmenzin

Ewald Walch

Ewan Murray Robson

Ewell Ross McCright

Ewen Montagu

Ewing Kauffman

Ex-Voto de 1662

Ex parte Endo

Ex parte Quirin

Excelsior tank

Execution (novel)

Executive Order 9066

Executive Order 9102

Exelmans (Paris Métro)

Exercise Eskimo

Exercise Tiger

Exeter International Airport

Expansion operations and planning of the Axis Powers

Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of His Evil

Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne (1937)

Expulsion of Germans after World War II

Expulsion of Germans from Czechoslovakia

Expulsion of Poles by Germany

Extermination camp

Extermination of Soviet prisoners of war by Nazi Germany

Extermination through labour

Extraordinary State Commission

Eye of the Needle (film)

Eye of the Needle (novel)

List of Latter Day Saints

This is a list of Latter Day Saints who have attained levels of notability. This list includes adherents of all Latter Day Saint movement denominations, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), Community of Christ, and others.

Members of the LDS Church are usually considered either "active", meaning they attend church on a regular basis and are committed to living their religion, or "less active" or "inactive", meaning they do not attend church regularly and/or they do not adhere to its principles. See List of former Latter Day Saints for a list of persons who ended their affiliation with Latter Day Saint movement religions.

List of Medal of Honor recipients for World War II

This is a list of Medal of Honor recipients for World War II. The Medal of Honor was created during the American Civil War and is the highest military decoration presented by the United States government to a member of its armed forces. The recipient must have distinguished themselves at the risk of their own life above and beyond the call of duty in action against an "enemy of the United States" or an "opposing foreign force". Due to the nature of this medal, it is commonly presented posthumously.World War II, or the Second World War, was a global military conflict, the joining of what had initially been two separate conflicts. The first began in Asia in 1937 as the Second Sino-Japanese War; the other began in Europe in 1939 with the German and Soviet invasion of Poland. This global conflict split the majority of the world's nations into two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis powers.

The United States was drawn into World War II on December 8, 1941, a day after the Axis-member Japan launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Honolulu that killed almost 2,500 people in what was considered the biggest peacetime loss on American soil inflicted by foreign people at that time.

For actions during World War II, 472 United States military personnel received the Medal of Honor. Seventeen of these were Japanese-Americans fighting in both Europe and the Pacific, many of which were upgraded from Distinguished Service Crosses during the Clinton administration. Additionally, Douglas Albert Munro was the only serviceman from the United States Coast Guard in United States military history to receive the Medal for his actions during the war.

The earliest action for which a U.S. serviceman earned a World War II Medal of Honor was the attack on Pearl Harbor, for which 17 U.S. servicemen were awarded a Medal, although they did so "while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force" rather than "enemy" since the United States was neutral during the events of December 7, 1941. The last action to earn a contemporaneous Medal of Honor prior to the August 15, 1945, end of hostilities in World War II, were those of Melvin Mayfield, on July 29, 1945 – though several honorees may have been cited for their Medal after Mayfield's recognition on May 31, 1946. Additionally, seven African Americans and twenty-two Asian American veterans who had received the Distinguished Service Cross during the war were awarded the Medal of Honor in 1997 and 2000 – most of them posthumously – after two studies determined that racial discrimination had caused them to be overlooked at the time.

RAF Chelveston

Royal Air Force Chelveston or more simply RAF Chelveston is a former Royal Air Force station located on the south side of the A645 (former A45 road), 5 miles (8.0 km) east of Wellingborough, near the village of Chelveston in Northamptonshire, England. During the Second World War the airfield was occupied by both the Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Forces. It was given the USAAF designation Station 105.

During the Cold War, Chelveston housed some flying units, however its main role was that of a readiness station to receive USAF units from the United States in case of an emergency. In the mid-1970s, the majority of the airfield was sold by the Ministry of Defence to private landholders, with the exception of a military housing area occupied by U.S. servicemembers assigned to RAF Alconbury and RAF Molesworth.

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