LLoyd J. Douglas

The President of the United States takes great pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to First Lieutenant Lloyd J. Douglas for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as Pilot of a B-17 type aircraft. On 2 December 1944, Lieutenant Douglas flew as Element Leader on a mission to bomb the North Oil Refineries at Blechhammer, Germany. During the period of the group’s take-off, an accident on the field blocked the taxi strips after approximately one-half of the group’s complement of planes had become airborne, delaying the take-off of the aircraft in Lieutenant Douglas’ squadron for nearly an hour. The planes, which had completed their take-off, proceeded as planned to the wing rendezvous. Meanwhile, after the obstruction on the taxi strip had been cleared away, the squadron in which Lieutenant Douglas was flying took off and made an attempt to overtake the group formation. This naturally necessitated the use of an unusually high power setting on all the aircraft. As a result of this overtaxing of the engines, an oil line on the number three engine of Lieutenant Douglas’ aircraft broke, forcing the Pilot to feather it immediately. At this time, the squadron was deep in enemy territory. Realizing that it would be impossible to hold his position in the formation, even if he were to salvo his bomb load, Lieutenant Douglas chose to make an individual run on a target of opportunity. Realizing the military importance of the city of Gyor, Austria, which was at this time conveniently near, Lieutenant Douglas piloted his crippled aircraft through a bomb run on the railroad leading into the city. In spite of a considerable barrage of anti-aircraft fire, which inflicted a number of damages to his aircraft, Lieutenant Douglas made a highly successful run, bomb strike photos showing several close hits on a locomotive and cars on the tracks. He proceeded home alone, making contact with a fighter escort enroute, and brought his damaged aircraft to a safe landing on three engines. The sound judgment and determination of purpose which Lieutenant Douglas exhibited in making this sortie a conspicuous success have been uniformly evident throughout a combat career of forty-two (42) combat missions, twenty six (26) sorties, and two hundred and twenty-nine (229) operational combat hours. Lieutenant Douglas’ competent airmanship, inspirational leadership and devotion to duty have reflected great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United States of America.