Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Army Air Corps

Walter Edward Truemper

  • Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • 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: over Leipzig, Germany

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 2d Lt. Truemper was serving as navigator 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, 2d Lt. Truemper and other members of his crew managed to right the plane and fly it back to their home station, where they contacted the control tower and reported the situation. Second Lt. Truemper and the engineer volunteered to attempt to land the plane. Other members of the crew were ordered to jump, leaving 2d Lt. Truemper and the engineer aboard. After observing the distressed aircraft from another plane, 2d Lt. Truemper's 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, 2d Lt. Truemper and the engineer replied that the pilot was still alive but could not be moved and that they would not desert him. They were then told to attempt a landing. After two unsuccessful efforts their plane crashed into an open field in a third attempt to land. Second Lt. Truemper, the engineer, and the wounded pilot were killed.

Medal of Honor Recipient Walter E. Truemper
Medal of Honor Recipient Walter E. Truemper
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Aurora, Du Page County, Illinois
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: July 4, 1944

    Aurora, Illinois - presented by Brig. Gen. R. E. O'Neill to his Mother

  • Born: October 31, 1918, Aurora, Du Page County, IL, United States
  • Died: February 20, 1944, Germany
  • Buried: St. Paul's Lutheran Cemetery (C-2-1), Aurora, IL, United States

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