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Capt. John S. Walmsley Jr.

Capt. John Springer Walmsley Jr. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Capt. John Springer Walmsley Jr. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Capt. John Springer Walmsley, Jr. served as a flying instructor in the United States and Japan throughout the 1940s. In June 1951 Walmsley went to Korea as a B-26 pilot in the 8th Squadron, 3rd Bomb Group. He completed 25 combat missions.

On Sept. 14, 1951, Walmsley successfully attacked an enemy supply train. When he ran out of ammunition, he used a searchlight mounted on his aircraft to illuminate the target for another B-26. Despite heavy antiaircraft fire, he continued to light the area. When his B-26 was hit, it crashed into the surrounding mountains and exploded.

Walmsley's navigator/bombardier, 2nd Lt. William D. Mulkins, and photographer, Capt. Philip W. Browning, also died in the crash. One crewmember survived, though -- gunner Master Sgt. George Moror was badly burned but escaped from the aircraft. He became a POW, and survived the war.

Medal of Honor Citation
Captain John S. Walmsley, Jr., United States Air Force, a member of the 8th Bombardment Squadron, 3d Bomb Wing, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty near Yangdok, Korea on 14 September 1951. While flying a B-26 aircraft on a night combat mission with the objective of developing new tactics, Captain Walmsley sighted an enemy supply train which had been assigned top priority as a target of opportunity. He immediately attacked, producing a strike which disabled the train, and, when his ammunition was expended, radioed for friendly aircraft in the area to complete destruction of the target. Employing the searchlight mounted on his aircraft, he guided another B-26 aircraft to the target area, meanwhile constantly exposing himself to enemy fire. Directing an incoming B-26 pilot, he twice boldly aligned himself with the target, his searchlight illuminating the area, in a determined effort to give the attacking aircraft full visibility. As the friendly aircraft prepared for the attack, Captain Walmsley descended into the valley in a low level run over the target with searchlight blazing, selflessly exposing himself to vicious enemy antiaircraft fire. In his determination to inflict maximum damage on the enemy, he refused to employ evasive tactics and valiantly pressed forward straight through an intense barrage, thus insuring complete destruction of the enemy's vitally needed war cargo. While he courageously pressed his attack Captain Walmsley's plane was hit and crashed into the surrounding mountains, exploding upon impact. His heroic initiative and daring aggressiveness in completing this important mission in the face of overwhelming opposition and at the risk of his life, reflects the highest credit upon himself and the U.S. Air Force.

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