Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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Korean War - U.S. Air Force

John Springer Walmsley Jr.

  • Rank: Captain
  • Conflict/Era: Korean War
  • Unit/Command:
    8th Bombardment Squadron,
    3d Bombardment Group
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Air Force
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: September 14, 1951
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near Yangdok, Korea
Capt. Walmsley distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. While flying a B-26 aircraft on a night combat mission with the objective of developing new tactics, Capt. 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, Capt. 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 Capt. 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, refects the highest credit upon himself and the U.S. Air Force.
Medal of Honor Recipient John S. Walmsley Jr.
Medal of Honor Recipient John S. Walmsley Jr.
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Baltimore, Baltimore County, Maryland
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: June 12, 1954
    Bolling AFB, presented by Sec. of the Air Force Talbott to his Widow
  • Born: January 7, 1920, Baltimore, Baltimore County, MD, United States
  • Died: September 14, 1951, Yangdok, Korea
  • Buried: National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) (Wall of the Missing), Honolulu, HI, United States

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