Michael, Edward Stanley, Lt Col

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Last Rank
Lieutenant Colonel
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 1091-Pilot, B-17
Last AFSC Group
Pilot (Officer)
Primary Unit
1959-1963, 1411, 1501st Air Terminal Squadron
Service Years
1940 - 1971
Officer Collar Insignia
Lieutenant Colonel

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSgt Robert Bruce McClelland, Jr. to remember Michael, Edward Stanley, Lt Col USAF(Ret).

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Chicago, Illinois
Last Address
Fairfield, California

Date of Passing
May 10, 1994
Location of Interment
Evergreen Cemetery - Springville, Utah
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Air Force Retired

 Unofficial Badges 

Pearl Harbor Memorial Medallion Cold War Medal

 Military Association Memberships
Air Force Memorial (AFM)
  2017, Air Force Memorial (AFM) - Assoc. Page

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
He was an enlisted man at Wheeler Field, Oahu, T.H. during the Pearl Harbor attack and later became a pilot who was badly wounded over Germany but managed to bring his stricken B-17 back to England.
He certainly was the only Medal of Honor nominee to wear a beard while in uniform. He had grown it while recuperating from his wounds and refused to shave it off until all 7 members of his crew who bailed out of their badly damaged aircraft were accounted for. Six had been confirmed as POW's. Michael received word shortly before he was to receive the Medal of Honor from President Roosevelt that the final one had been repatriated to the US. He just had time to shave before he went off to get his medal from FDR.
His post-1963 assignments are unknown.

Citation for his Medal of Honor:
Awarded for actions during the World War II
The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to First Lieutenant (Air Corps) Edward Stanley Michael, United States Army Air Forces, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving as Pilot of a B-17 aircraft with the 364th Bombardment Squadron, 305th Bombardment Group (H), Eighth Air Force, on a heavy-bombardment mission to Stettin, Germany, 11 April 1944. The group in which First Lieutenant Michael was flying was attacked by a swarm of fighters. His plane was singled out and the fighters pressed their attacks home recklessly, completely disregarding the Allied fighter escort and their own intense flak. His plane was riddled from nose to tail with exploding cannon shells and knocked out of formation, with a large number of fighters following it down, blasting it with cannon fire as it descended. A cannon shell exploded in the cockpit, wounded the copilot, wrecked the instruments, and blew out the side window. First Lieutenant Michael was seriously and painfully wounded in the right thigh. Hydraulic fluid filmed over the windshield making visibility impossible, and smoke filled the cockpit. The controls failed to respond and 3,000 feet were lost before he succeeded in leveling off. The radio operator informed him that the whole bomb bay was in flames as a result of the explosion of three cannon shells, which had ignited the incendiaries. With a full load of incendiaries in the bomb bay and a considerable gas load in the tanks, the danger of fire enveloping the plane and the tanks exploding seemed imminent. When the emergency release lever failed to function, First Lieutenant Michael at once gave the order to bail out and seven of the crew left the plane. Seeing the bombardier firing the navigator's gun at the enemy planes, First Lieutenant Michael ordered him to bail out as the plane was liable to explode any minute. When the bombardier looked for his parachute he found that it had been riddled with 20-mm. fragments and was useless. First Lieutenant Michael, seeing the ruined parachute, realized that if the plane was abandoned the bombardier would perish and decided that the only chance would be a crash landing. Completely disregarding his own painful and profusely bleeding wounds, but thinking only of the safety of the remaining crewmembers, he gallantly evaded the enemy, using violent evasive action despite the battered condition of his plane. After the plane had been under sustained enemy attack for fully 45 minutes, First Lieutenant Michael finally lost the persistent fighters in a cloud bank. Upon emerging, an accurate barrage of flak caused him to come down to treetop level where flak towers poured a continuous rain of fire on the plane. He continued into France, realizing that at any moment a crash landing might have to be attempted, but trying to get as far as possible to increase the escape possibilities if a safe landing could be achieved. First Lieutenant Michael flew the plane until he became exhausted from the loss of blood, which had formed on the floor in pools, and he lost consciousness. The copilot succeeded in reaching England and sighted an RAF field near the coast. First Lieutenant Michael finally regained consciousness and insisted upon taking over the controls to land the plane. The undercarriage was useless; the bomb bay doors were jammed open; the hydraulic system and altimeter were shot out. In addition, there was no airspeed indicator, the ball turret was jammed with the guns pointing downward, and the flaps would not respond. Despite these apparently insurmountable obstacles, he landed the plane without mishap.
General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 5, January 15, 1945

Action Date: 11-Apr-44

Service: Army Air Forces

Rank: First Lieutenant

Company: 364th Bombardment Squadron

Regiment: 305th Bombardment Group (H)

Division: 8th Air Force
Other Comments:
10&pg=1&rid=1180010&rlst=1180010,568740 (Enlistment record) Book: "Mission to Berlin", by Robert F. Dorr, Zenith Press, 2011, pp 128-30.
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Aviator (Command)

 Duty Stations/ Advancement Schools
United States Army Air Corps (USAAC)United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)Aviation Cadet Flight School364th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
305th Bombardment Group, HeavyAir Corps Ferrying Command US Air ForceSupport Units
Air Force Training WingsTravis Air Force Base1501st Air Terminal Squadron
  1940-1941, United States Army Air Corps (USAAC)
  1941-1942, United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)
  1942-1943, AAF MOS 770, Aviation Cadet Flight School
  1943-1944, AAF MOS 1091, 364th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1943-1944, AAF MOS 1091, 305th Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1944-1945, AAF MOS 770, Air Corps Ferrying Command
  1949-1952, 1021A, 1729th Air Transport Squadron
  1952-1953, 1503rd Support Squadron
  1953-1955, 1500th Air Base Wing
  1956-1958, 1021A, 4347th Combat Crew Training Wing (Staff)
  1958-1959, 6021, Travis Air Force Base
  1959-1963, 1411, 1501st Air Terminal Squadron
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1941 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Attack on Pearl Harbor
  1941-1945 World War II
  1943-1944 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)
  1943-1944 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater
 Colleges Attended 
Air University
  1948-1949, Air University
 My Aircraft/Missiles
P-36 Hawk  P-40 Warhawk/Kittyhawk  B-17 Flying Fortress  B-47 Stratojet  
C-124 Globemaster II  C-97 Stratofreighter  C-133 Cargomaster II  
  1941-1942, P-36 Hawk
  1941-1942, P-40 Warhawk/Kittyhawk
  1942-1944, B-17 Flying Fortress1
  1956-1958, B-47 Stratojet
  1959-1963, C-124 Globemaster II
  1959-1963, C-97 Stratofreighter
  1959-1963, C-133 Cargomaster II
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