Kingsley, David Richard, 2nd Lt

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Last Rank
Second Lieutenant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
M 1036-Navigator-Bombardier
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1944-1944, M 1035, 341st Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
Service Years
1942 - 1944
Second Lieutenant

 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 to remember Kingsley, David Richard, 2nd Lt.

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.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Portland, Oregon
Last Address
Amendola Airfield, Italy

Casualty Date
Jun 23, 1944
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
World War II/Asian-Pacific Theater
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Section 34, Lot 4786

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 Military Association Memberships
World War II Fallen
  2014, World War II Fallen

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Bombardier Badge

 Unit Assignments
97th Bombardment Group, Heavy341st Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1944-1944, M 1035, 97th Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1944-1944, M 1035, 341st Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1944 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater
  1944-1944 European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)
  1944-1944 European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Anzio Campaign (1944)
  1944-1944 European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Rome-Arno Campaign (1944)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-17 Flying Fortress  
  1943-1944, B-17 Flying Fortress
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
He was killed during the Ploesti Oil Field bombing raid of Jun 23, 1944.  
His B-17, "Opissoniya", was badly damaged by enemy fire and forced to drop out of the formation. The pilot continued on to the target and dropped his bombs. The aircraft was unable to keep up with the formation on the return trip and was attacked by enemy aircraft, during which the plane was further damaged and the tail gunner badly wounded.

Kinglsley gave aid to the gunner and then went to give aid to the ball gunner who had also been wounded. The pilot gave the order to bail out, but Kingsley found that the tail gunner's parachute was missing. He placed his own chute on the wounded man and then he helped the wounded men bail out of the burning plane. The last sight of him was as he stood on the bomb bay catwalk while the plane flew on auto pilot until it crashed a few minutes later.  
His body was found in the cockpit, he apparently had been trying to land the aircraft in a field, as it had been seen circling. He was buried in Rumania, and subsequently returned to the U.S. and buried in Arlington.
Kingsley Field, now Kingsley Field ANGB, Klamath Falls, OR was named in his honor.
His Medal of Honor citation:
Awarded for actions during World War II
The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Second Lieutenant (Air Corps) David Richard Kingsley, United States Army Air Forces, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty, 23 June 1944 near Ploesti, Rumania, while flying as bombardier of a B-17 type aircraft with the 341st Bombardment Squadron, 97th Bombardment Group (H), Fifteenth Air Force. On the bomb run Second Lieutenant Kingsley's aircraft was severely damaged by intense flak and forced to drop out of formation but the pilot proceeded over the target and Second Lieutenant Kingsley successfully dropped his bombs, causing severe damage to vital installations. The damaged aircraft, forced to lose altitude and to lag behind the formation, was aggressively attacked by three ME-109 aircraft, causing more damage to the aircraft and severely wounding the tail gunner in the upper arm. The radio operator and engineer notified Second Lieutenant Kingsley that the tail gunner had been wounded and that assistance was needed to check the bleeding. Second Lieutenant Kingsley made his way back to the radio room, skillfully applied first aid to the wound, and succeeded in checking the bleeding. The tail gunner's parachute harness and heavy clothes were removed and he was covered with blankets, making him as comfortable as possible. Eight ME-109 aircraft again aggressively attacked Second Lieutenant Kingsley's aircraft and the ball turret gunner was wounded by 20-mm. shell fragments. He went forward to the radio room to have Second Lieutenant Kingsley administer first aid. A few minutes later when the pilot gave the order to prepare to bail out, Second Lieutenant Kingsley immediately began to assist the wounded gunners in putting on their parachute harness. In the confusion the tail gunner's harness, believed to have been damaged, could not be located in the bundle of blankets and flying clothes which had been removed from the wounded men. With utter disregard for his own means of escape, Second Lieutenant Kingsley unhesitatingly removed his parachute harness and adjusted it to the wounded tail gunner. Due to the extensive damage caused by the accurate and concentrated 20-mm. fire by the enemy aircraft the pilot gave the order to bail out, as it appeared that the aircraft would disintegrate at any moment. Second Lieutenant Kingsley aided the wounded men in bailing out and when last seen by the crewmembers he was standing on the bomb bay catwalk. The aircraft continued to fly on automatic pilot for a short distance, then crashed and burned. His body was later found in the wreckage. Second Lieutenant Kingsley by his gallant heroic action was directly responsible for saving the life of the wounded gunner.

General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 26 (April 9, 1945)
Action Date: 23-Jun-44
Service: Army Air Forces
Rank: Second Lieutenant
Company: 341st Bombardment Squadron
Regiment: 97th Bombardment Group (H)
Division: 15th Air Force

Notes/Links: (a moving and detailed account of the mission and background of the aircrew, etc. It has details of Lt. Kingsley's early life as well as training, etc..) Photo (photo of grave marker in Arlington)
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