The 330th Bomb Group 330th Bomb Group

 
2LT Thomas B Massopust (P) K-66

G.O. No. 25

Distinguished Flying Cross

7 August 1945

For extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight on a combat mission against the city of Tokyo, Japan, 11 June 1945. During the bomb run, one enemy fighter firing an automatic cannon hit the left wing with explosive shells, blowing a four-foot in diameter in the outboard section. This sudden loss of wing surface threw the plane temporarily out of control, but with great skill and almost superhuman effort, 2LT Massopust and the A/C were able to straighten the disabled plane and bring it back on course. Disregarding the consequent decrease in airspeed, which forced them to drop behind and below the protection of the other places in the formation, the plane was held unfalteringly to the briefed course over the target. Enemy fighters singled them out and pressed their attacks vigorously against the crippled bomber. One attack disabled both forward turrets so that no defense could be affected against numerous head-on attacks. Another enemy fighter wounded 1LT Richard Nowicki (B) and rendered the bombsight and a large portion of the planes electrical system inoperative. 2LT Massopust then struggled alone with the controls to hold the plane on course while the 1LT Jerry Duty (A/C) pulled Nowicki from his position and applied life saving first aid. During the hour and fifteen minutes over the Japanese mainland more than forty separate fighter attacks were encountered and the airplanes was riddled with bullet holes in addition to the complete panel torn from the left wing. Displaying outstanding ability and undaunted courage 2LT Massopust by carefully conserving his fuel, successfully flew the disabled plane back to his home where he executed a perfect landing. His quick, cool thinking and superb display of airmanship under the hazardous conditions encountered reflect great credit on himself and the Army Air Forces

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