Last Known Activity He shot down 19 enemy aircraft as a Naval Aviator during WWII, making him the 4th highest scoring U.S. Navy Ace of the war. He engaged only nineteen targets during six combat missions between Nov. 5, 1944 and Feb. 17, 1945; he shot down all nineteen.
On Oct 15, 1952 he was involved in the 1st deep-penetration overflight of the USSR.
He was killed in the first ever crash of a B-52. One reference suggests that he bailed out but that his chute caught fire.
His Navy Cross citation: Awarded for actions during World War II
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lieutenant Patrick Dawson Fleming (NSN: 0-100296), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Fighter Plane in Bombing Fighting Squadron EIGHTY (VBF-80), attached to the U.S.S. HANCOCK (CV-19), in the action against Tokyo air fields on 16 February 1945. He skillfully and courageously led a division of planes on a fighter sweep against enemy airpower. During the action, he personally destroyed five aircraft in the air amid heavy anti-aircraft fire. His skill and courage coupled with his leadership and complete disregard for his personal safety were at all times in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
General Orders: Commander Air Forces Pacific: Serial 25349 (December 9, 1945)
Awarded posthumously for actions during the Cold War
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pride in presenting the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal (Army Design) (Posthumously) to Colonel Patrick Dawson Fleming (NSN: 0-100296), United States Air Force, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service in a position of great responsibility to the Government of the United States, from February 1954 to February 1956. As Deputy Wing Commander, 93d Bombardment Wing (Heavy), Colonel Fleming was directly instrumental in developing more efficient, safer, and easier methods for utilizing equipment in training of personnel in modern jet bombardment operations. His depth of knowledge and profound understanding of aircraft performance and bombardment operations, and his ability to lecture, educate and indoctrinate personnel in methods of improving procedures, significantly contributed to the successful conversion of this wing to jet bombardment aircraft. The untiring efforts and adept resourcefulness and dedicated devotion of Colonel Fleming to the attainment of a high state of combat readiness greatly improved the managerial effectiveness of the command aircraft conversion and training program. His actions may be readily associated with the increased operational capability of the Strategic Air Command. The outstanding contributions to national security rendered by Colonel Fleming have reflected the greatest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
General Orders: Department of the Air Force, General Orders No. 60 (1956)
Other Memories He served with B-47 Project WIBAC at MacDill AFB, Florida, from September 1950 to January 1952. During this time he participated in Project 52 AFR-18 with the 306th Bomb Wing at MacDill, which used modified B-47 Stratojet bombers to make reconnaissance flights over the Soviet Union.