John A. Drake

JOHN A. DRAKE, Captain, Air Corps, 414th Bombardment Squadron, 97th Bombardment Group, United States Army, awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight in the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations, as pilot of a B-17 type aircraft and flight leader of his squadron. On 2 November 1943, while on a mission to bomb an important enemy aircraft factory in Austria, Captain Drake’s ship developed mechanical trouble, however, realizing the importance of the target, Captain Drake decided to continue on. During the bombing run, one (1) engine was rendered inoperative, however, despite the handicap of two (2) useless engines and intense anti-aircraft fire, Captain Drake led his flight on an accurate and highly successful bombing run. Immediately after the target, Captain Drake’s flight was attacked by ten (10) enemy fighters. By making a quick gentle diving turn off the target, and taking advantage of the lead squadron’s slower turns, he skillfully brought his flight into proper battle position before the fighters could press their attacks home. Successfully beating off persistent enemy fighter attacks, Captain Drake brought his damaged plane safely through enemy territory for a safe landing at base without injury to ship or crew. By his leadership, courage and professional skill, together with his outstanding combat record of over fifty (50) successful missions against the enemy, Captain Drake has reflected great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United States of America. John A. Drake is a member of the Distinguished Flying Cross Society.