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World War II - U.S. Marine Corps Reserve

Richard Eugene Fleming

Details
  • Rank: Captain
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    Marine Scout-Bombing Squadron 241,
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Marine Corps Reserve
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: June 4 - 5, 1942
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Midway Island
Citation
For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty as flight officer, Marine Scout-Bombing Squadron 241, during action against enemy Japanese forces in the battle of Midway on 4 and 5 June 1942. When his squadron commander was shot down during the initial attack upon an enemy aircraft carrier, Capt. Fleming led the remainder of the division with such fearless determination that he dived his own plane to the perilously low altitude of 400 feet before releasing his bomb. Although his craft was riddled by 179 hits in the blistering hail of fire that burst upon him from Japanese fighter guns and antiaircraft batteries, he pulled out with only two minor wounds inflicted upon himself. On the night of 4 June, when the squadron commander lost his way and became separated from the others, Capt. Fleming brought his own plane in for a safe landing at its base despite hazardous weather conditions and total darkness. The following day, after less than four hours' sleep, he led the second division of his squadron in a coordinated glide-bombing and dive-bombing assault upon a Japanese battleship. Undeterred by a fateful approach glide, during which his ship was struck and set afire, he grimly pressed home his attack to an altitude of 500 feet, released his bomb to score a near miss on the stern of his target, then crashed to the sea in flames. His dauntless perseverance and unyielding devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
Medal of Honor Recipient Richard E. Fleming
Medal of Honor Recipient Richard E. Fleming
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Minnesota
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: November 24, 1942
    The White House - presented by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to his Mother
  • Born: November 2, 1917, St. Paul, Ramsey County, MN, United States
  • Died: June 5, 1942, Midway Island, Midway Islands
  • Buried: National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) (Wall of the Missing); Fort Snelling National Cemetery (IMO) Minneapolis, Minnesota; burial at sea, Honolulu, HI, United States
 

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