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He destroyed 11 enemy aircraft in aerial combat in the Mediterranean Theater in WWII.
His ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean at Point Lobos, California.
His Silver Star citation:
Awarded for actions during World War II
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Colonel (Air Corps) Charles M. McCorkle, United States Army Air Forces, for gallantry in action while serving as a Fighter Pilot and Commanding Officer of the 31st Fighter Group, FIFTEENTH Air Force. On 3 January 1944, Colonel McCorkle led a flight of four (4) Spitfires which patrolled the Allied front lines in Italy. While investigating unidentified aircraft near Allied front lines, the Spitfires experienced intense, accurate heavy flak. Colonel McCorkle's aircraft was hit in the right wing and tail assembly, the control surfaces damaged, and the trim tab control cables were shot away. At the same time his radio ceased operating. Since he could not be certain of the full extent of the damage, and his aircraft was extremely difficult to control, he decided to break away from the flight in order to return to base. Before he could break away, he observed twelve (12) enemy fighters diving toward Allied territory. Realizing that to break away at this crucial moment would doubtless confuse his pilots and thereby delay their interception of the enemy fighters, Colonel McCorkle refrained from leaving his flight. Unmindful of the damaged condition and difficulty in maneuvering his aircraft, and disregarding odds of twelve (12) to four (4), he led his flight in an aggressive and superbly executed attack, dispersed the enemy formation and forced them to turn toward base. As the aircraft reached enemy territory, anti-aircraft fire caused both the enemy and the Spitfires to climb. Observing an enemy fighter to his left at six-thousand (6,000) feet, Colonel McCorkle attacked, and despite extreme difficulty in maneuvering his aircraft, he skillfully followed, closed to point blank range and shot it down. The expert flying skill, outstanding gallantry, and selfless devotion to duty displayed by Colonel McCorkle in flying a severely damaged aircraft into combat against numerically superior forces has reflected great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United States of America.
General Orders: Headquarters, 15th Air Force, General Orders No. 217 (1944)
Action Date: January 3, 1944
Service: Army Air Forces
Regiment: 31st Fighter Group
Division: 15th Air Force