Congressional Medal of Honor Society

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World War II - U.S. Army Air Corps

Frederick W. Castle

Details
  • Rank: Brigadier General
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    4th Bombardment Wing,
    8th Air Force
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army Air Corps
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: December 24, 1944
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Germany
Citation

He was air commander and leader of more than 2,000 heavy bombers in a strike against German airfields on 24 December 1944. En route to the target, the failure of one engine forced him to relinquish his place at the head of the formation. In order not to endanger friendly troops on the ground below, he refused to jettison his bombs to gain speed maneuverability. His lagging, unescorted aircraft became the target of numerous enemy fighters which ripped the left wing with cannon shells, set the oxygen system afire, and wounded two members of the crew. Repeated attacks started fires in two engines, leaving the Flying Fortress in imminent danger of exploding. Realizing the hopelessness of the situation, the bail-out order was given. Without regard for his personal safety he gallantly remained alone at the controls to afford all other crewmembers an opportunity to escape. Still another attack exploded gasoline tanks in the right wing, and the bomber plunged earthward, carrying Gen. Castle to his death. His intrepidity and willing sacrifice of his life to save the members of his crew were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service.

Medal of Honor Recipient Frederick W. Castle
Medal of Honor Recipient Frederick W. Castle
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Mountain Lakes, Morris County, New Jersey
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details:

    Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, presented by Gen. Ira Eaker to his Mother

  • Born: October 14, 1908, Manila, Luzon, Philippine Islands
  • Died: December 24, 1944, Over Liege, Belgium
  • Buried: A.B.M.C. Henri-Chapelle Cemetery (D-13-53), Henri-Chapelle, Belgium
  • Location of Medal: Library, Mountain Lakes, NJ
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