David R. Kingsley Medal of Honor citation

Army MOH CitationThe President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR (Posthumously)to

SECOND LIEUTENANT (AIR CORPS)

DAVID R. KINGSLEY

UNITED STATES ARMY AIR FORCES

For service as set forth in the following

CITATION:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty, 23 June 1944 near Ploesti, Rumania, while flying as bombardier of a B-17 type aircraft with the 341st Bombardment Squadron, 97th Bombardment Group (H), Fifteenth Air Force. On the bomb run Second Lieutenant Kingsley’s aircraft was severely damaged by intense flak and forced to drop out of formation but the pilot proceeded over the target and Second Lieutenant Kingsley successfully dropped his bombs, causing severe damage to vital installations. The damaged aircraft, forced to lose altitude and to lag behind the formation, was aggressively attacked by three ME-109 aircraft, causing more damage to the aircraft and severely wounding the tail gunner in the upper arm. The radio operator and engineer notified Second Lieutenant Kingsley that the tail gunner had been wounded and that assistance was needed to check the bleeding. Second Lieutenant Kingsley made his way back to the radio room, skillfully applied first aid to the wound, and succeeded in checking the bleeding. The tail gunner’s parachute harness and heavy clothes were removed and he was covered with blankets, making him as comfortable as possible. Eight ME-109 aircraft again aggressively attacked Second Lieutenant Kingsley’s aircraft and the ball turret gunner was wounded by 20-mm. shell fragments. He went forward to the radio room to have Second Lieutenant Kingsley administer first aid. A few minutes later when the pilot gave the order to prepare to bail out, Second Lieutenant Kingsley immediately began to assist the wounded gunners in putting on their parachute harness. In the confusion the tail gunner’s harness, believed to have been damaged, could not be located in the bundle of blankets and flying clothes which had been removed from the wounded men. With utter disregard for his own means of escape, Second Lieutenant Kingsley unhesitatingly removed his parachute harness and adjusted it to the wounded tail gunner. Due to the extensive damage caused by the accurate and concentrated 20-mm. fire by the enemy aircraft the pilot gave the order to bail out, as it appeared that the aircraft would disintegrate at any moment. Second Lieutenant Kingsley aided the wounded men in bailing out and when last seen by the crewmembers he was standing on the bomb bay catwalk. The aircraft continued to fly on automatic pilot for a short distance, then crashed and burned. His body was later found in the wreckage. Second Lieutenant Kingsley by his gallant heroic action was directly responsible for saving the life of the wounded gunner.


Born: June 27, 1918 in Portland, Ore…. Medal presented to his brother, Thomas E. Kingsley by Maj. Gen. Ralph P. Cousins… Interred: Arlington National Cemetery