Metzger -- 2nd Lt William E Metzger Jr


William Metzger enlisted at Toledo, Ohio, Oct. 5, 1942, and served at Camp Perry, Ohio, and Camp Young, Calif., with ordnance battalions before becoming an aviation cadet in March 1943. He trained at Santa Ana, Calif., Twentynine Palms and Lancaster, Calif, and Douglas, Ariz., getting his wings and appointment as a Flight Officer in March 1944.

He served at Kingman Air Field, Ariz., and Rapid City Air Base, S.D., was commissioned a second lieutenant in August 1944, and two months later went to England for B-17 copilot duties with the 8th Air Force's 452nd Bomb Group. His plane was shot up and some of the crew members injured on Nov. 9 during a bombing run on the marshaling yards at Saarbrucken. Germany.

Lieutenant Metzger and the pilot, First Lt. Donald J. Gott, elected to try and get the bomber and the injured men back to base after completing the bomb run in the face of intense fire. For this heroic action, in which both men lost their lives, Lieutenant Metzger was awarded the Medal of Honor, as was Lieutenant Gott.

The citation for Metzger reads, in part: "...Something had to be done to save the life of the wounded radio operator. The lack of a static line and the thought that his unconscious body striking the ground in unknown territory would not bring immediate medical attention forced a quick decision. Lieutenant Metzger and his pilot decided to fly the flaming aircraft to friendly territory and then attempt to crash-land. With only one normally functioning engine and with the danger of explosion much greater, the aircraft banked into an open field, and when it was at an altitude of 100 feet it exploded, crashed, exploded again, and then disintegrated. All three crew members were instantly killed. Lieutenant Metzger's loyalty to the crew, his determination to accomplish the task set forth to.him, and his deed of knowingly performing what may have been his last service to his country were an example of valor at its highest."

See the
full citation at the Congressional Medal of Honor Society website.