Congressional Medal of Honor Society

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World War II - U.S. Army Air Corps

Archibald Mathies

Details
  • Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    510th Bombardment Squadron, 351st Bombardment Group,
    8th Air Force
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army Air Corps
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: February 20, 1944
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Europe
Citation

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy in connection with a bombing mission over enemy-occupied Europe on 20 February 1944. The aircraft on which Sgt. Mathies was serving as engineer and ball turret gunner was attacked by a squadron of enemy fighters with the result that the copilot was killed outright, the pilot wounded and rendered unconscious, the radio operator wounded, and the plane severely damaged. Nevertheless, Sgt. Mathies and other members of the crew managed to right the plane and fly it back to their home station, where they contacted the control tower and reported the situation. Sgt. Mathies and the navigator volunteered to attempt to land the plane. Other members of the crew were ordered to jump, leaving Sgt. Mathies and the navigator aboard. After observing the distressed aircraft from another plane, Sgt. Mathies' commanding officer decided the damaged plane could not be landed by the inexperienced crew and ordered them to abandon it and parachute to safety. Demonstrating unsurpassed courage and heroism, Sgt. Mathies and the navigator replied that the pilot was still alive but could not be moved and they would not desert him. They were then told to attempt a landing. After two unsuccessful efforts, the plane crashed into an open field in a third attempt to land. Sgt. Mathies, the navigator, and the wounded pilot were killed.

Medal of Honor Recipient Archibald Mathies
Medal of Honor Recipient Archibald Mathies
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details:

    Presented to his Mother

  • Born: June 3, 1918, Scotland
  • Died: February 20, 1944, England
  • Buried: Finleyville Cemetery (MH), Finleyville, PA, United States
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