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Wwii Letter & Air Medal Citations, Usaaf Fighter Pilot For Sale
This isan excellent original3 page WWIIletter, an AmericanP-47 Thunderbolt fighter pilot. There is excellent content. In addition to the 3 page letterthis pilotenclosed handwritten copies ofhis citation documents forthe Air Medal andhis first Oak Leaf Cluster tothe Air Medal. He copiedhis citations by handand sent them home, so that his family wouldbetter understandwhat he had been doing while flying in combat.This is explained in the letter.In one of the citations he is described as successfully pressinghome an attack on a ground target despite damage to his aircraft from antiaircraft fire. The other citation describes a successful low level attack, again throughintense antiaircraft fire, against enemyinstallationson the Brenner Railway.
***The pilot who wrote this letterand earned these citations flewa total of101 combat missions in Italy, France, and Germany, in 1944 and 1945. He wasLieutenant John A. Herrmann of the 524th Fighter Squadron, 27th Fighter Group.
Lieutenant Herrmannhad flown earlier the day that he wrote this letter, but his scheduled mission early in the morning had been cancelled due to poor flying weather, so hewason the schedule againto fly a mission the following morning:
"Thought I'd have to get up real early this morning, but the rain saved the day. But tomorrow is another day, and since we didn't get to take off on the mission this morning I'm still on the schedule for tomorrow. SoI'm not getting out of a darned thing.
Rather than getting that extra hour of sleep I'd like to have flown, because we had to stand by the line allmorning, then come down right after lunch again. Listened to a lecture then, or sort of a bull session.
Finally got off on a local hop about 3:30. I did a little buzzing of the towns around There is an interesting segment in which Lieutenant Herrmann explains the "combat ration", which was a shot of whisky given to pilots and combat flying crews at the end of each mission. Herrmann explains that he neveraccepted his combat ration, because he didn't like drinking when he knew he might soon be flying. He was, on the other hand, stocking up on liquor so that he would havesome available when he went on his next leave:
"We got another ration today, but the only time I drink any is when we go to rest camp. Other times I give it to my crew chief or some other guy. This time I got 'Three Feathers'. Believe I'll save that for my next rest leave in France.
You can get an ounce ration free for every mission, but I don't get it because I don't drink the stuff when I'm flying regularly - only at rest camp when I have several days off."
Lieutenant Herrmann explains thatit was not necessary for him towear a pressurized g-suit when flying his P-47:
"You asked if we wear one of those g-suits that that article was describing. Well, I have one, but I've only worn it about three times. In the first place I'm too darned lazy to put it on, and then too we don't need it in this 'iron tub'. Guess they are good where they need them. You look likea guy from Mars in the things."
There is more. Late in the letter Lieutenant Herrmann explains that hehad copied his Air Medal citations and was sending them home for his family to read. He hoped that the citations would helpthem to understand what he had been doing in combat. The citationsare as follows:
"Citation- Air Medal.
John A. Herrmann, 0-824624, 2nd Lt., 524 Fighter Squadron, 27 Fighter Group:
For MeritoriousAchievement when participating in aerialflight as pilot of a P-47type aircraft. On 11 November 1944, Lt. Herrmann flew as a member of an 8 plane mission orderedto cut an enemy held railroad running between Bologna and Ferrara, Italy. Flying under conditions that made theirobservation by the enemy unavoidable, the P-47'scould not achieve surprise. Nearing the target, Lieutenant Herrmann's aircraft was hit by enemy antiaircraft fire. Ignoring the injury to his plane, he resolutely maintained his place in the formation and continued on to the target.The leader having chosena station as the target, Lt. Herrmann daringlypressed home his attack, diving low for accuracy and strafing as he went down. Showing great coolness and excellent flying skill,he scored two direct hitson the station buildings while the rest of the flight scored two more hits on the station and twodirect hits on the tracks. Lt. Herrmann's intrepid airmanship and selfless devotion to duty are worthy of the highest commendation and reflect great creditupon himself and the ArmyAir Force. Entered military service from Cincinnatti, The citation for his firstOak Leaf Cluster describes an attack on railway installations in the Brenner Pass:
"Air Medal. First Oak Leaf Cluster.
John A. Herrmann Jr. 0-824624, 2nd Lt., 524 Fighter Squadron, 27 Fighter Group.
For Meritorious Achievement while participating in aerial flight as pilot of a P-47 type aircraft.On 2 Dec. 1944, Lt. Herrmann flew in the second flight of an eight plane mission ordered to attack the Brenner Railway, the enemy's most heavily defended line of communications in northern Italy. As the formation flew over the target preparatory to the attack it was met by accurate heavy calibre antiaircraftfire. In the face of the enemy defencesLt. Herrmann dived his airplane and, notwithstanding an intense barrage of light calibre fire sent upby the enemy, scored two direct hits with his bombsamong freight cars in a railway station, strafing as he went down. Lt. Herrmann's flying skill and devotion to duty, regardlessof hazard, reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United States. Entered military service from Cincinnati, The letter and citations are contained in their original cover, which is self-censored by Lieutenant Herrmann. The stamp has been cut off.
Anexcellent WWII letter, written by an American fighter pilot who flew more than 100 combat missions in World War Two.
***J.A. Herrmannwas a P-47 Thunderbolt pilot whoflew more than 100 combat missionsin Italy, France, andGermany, in 1944-45, in the 524th Fighter Squadron of the 27th Fighter Group.Most of his missions were fighter/bomber attacksagainst ground targets.His aircraft was damaged by ground fire on at leastone occasion, according to the citation for his first Air Medal.
Lieutenant Herrmanncertainly received additional Oak Leaf Clusters to hisAir Medal, and I believe he also received the Distinguished Flying Cross, but I don't have any pays shipping, $2.00 in Canada, $2.50 to the United States, $3.00 Overseas. Shipping costs may be combined with my other salesending in the same weekas far as size and weight permit. The winning buyer must contact me within2daysafter the close of the sale. Payment must be received within5 calendar days of the close of the sale. I accept Paypal only. Thank you.
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Wwii Letter & Air Medal Citations, Usaaf Fighter Pilot: $53