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MATHIS, JACK

mathis jack w

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy over Vegesack, Germany on 18 March 1943. First Lt. Mathis, as leading bombardier of his squadron, flying through intense and accurate antiaircraft fire, was just starting his bomb run, upon which the entire squadron depended upon for accurate bombing, when he was hit by the enemy antiaircraft fire. His right arm was shattered above the elbow, a large wound was torn in his side and abdomen, and he was knocked from his bombsight to the rear of the bombardier's compartment. Realizing that the success of the mission depended upon him, 1st Lt. Mathis, by sheer determination and willpower, though mortally wounded, dragged himself back to his sights, released his bombs, then died at his post of duty. As the result of this action the airplanes of his bombardment squadron placed their bombs directly upon the assigned target for a perfect attack against the enemy. First Lt. Mathis' undaunted bravery has been a great inspiration to the officers and men of his unit.

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Service

Rank

Division

U.S. Army Air Corps First Lieutenant 359th Bombardment Squadron, 303d Bombardment Group 8th Air Force

Conflict

Year of honor

born

World War Two 1943 Sterling City, Texas

Citation

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy over Vegesack, Germany on 18 March 1943. First Lt. Mathis, as leading bombardier of his squadron, flying through intense and accurate antiaircraft fire, was just starting his bomb run, upon which the entire squadron depended upon for accurate bombing, when he was hit by the enemy antiaircraft fire. His right arm was shattered above the elbow, a large wound was torn in his side and abdomen, and he was knocked from his bombsight to the rear of the bombardier's compartment. Realizing that the success of the mission depended upon him, 1st Lt. Mathis, by sheer determination and willpower, though mortally wounded, dragged himself back to his sights, released his bombs, then died at his post of duty. As the result of this action the airplanes of his bombardment squadron placed their bombs directly upon the assigned target for a perfect attack against the enemy. First Lt. Mathis' undaunted bravery has been a great inspiration to the officers and men of his unit.