National Museum of the USAF   Right Corner Banner
Join the Air Force

Home > Fact Sheets > Tech. Sgt. James H. Ledford


Posted 3/3/2015 Printable Fact Sheet
Previous ImageNext Image
Master Sgt. James H. Ledford
Master Sgt. James H. Ledford in 1959. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Download HiRes

On Dec. 8, 1952, disaster struck a 6167th Operations Squadron B-26 crew on a low-level classified mission over North Korea -- an antiaircraft shell exploded next to the pilot, Maj. Lawrence Freligh, severely wounding him. Freligh slumped against the control column, sending the aircraft into a dive. Flight Engineer Tech. Sgt. James H. Ledford saved the aircraft and crew by pulling the B-26 out before it hit the ground.

Freligh was too wounded to be moved out of the pilot's seat, and he told the navigator and Ledford to bail out, but they both refused. Ledford then helped the partially incapacitated pilot fly back to base and land the damaged B-26.

For their actions, both Freligh and Ledford received the Distinguished Service Cross.

Click here to return to the Special Operations Overview.

Find Out More
Blue line
Related Fact Sheets
Douglas B-26C (A-26C) Invader
Blue line
Note: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the National Museum of the USAF, the U.S. Air Force, or the Department of Defense, of the external website, or the information, products or services contained therein.

 Inside the Museum

ima cornerSearch

ima cornerKorea History


tabRelated Links

Museum Virtual TourMuseum Facebook PageMuseum Twitter PageMuseum Instagram
Museum Google Plus PageMuseum Pinterest PageMuseum YouTube ChannelMuseum Flickr Page
Museum PodcastsMuseum E-newsletter Sign-upMuseum RSS Feeds

Site Map      Contact Us     Questions     Security and Privacy notice     E-publishing  
Suicide Prevention    SAPR   IG   EEO   Accessibility/Section 508   No FEAR Act