Walmsley -- Capt John S Walmsley


John Walmsley enlisted at his home town in Sept. 1942, and took pilot training at Maxwell Field, Ala.; Orangeburg, S.C.; and Bush and Turner Fields, Ga., getting his wings and commission in November 1943.

He served throughout WWII as a flying instructor at Turner Field. In mid-1946, he went to Japan and spent three years as a pilot for various bomb squadrons. He returned to the U.S. to attend the Air Tactical School at Tyndall AFB, Fla, graduating in July 1949.

As a captain he became a specialist with a series of air control and warning squadrons, and for a while was on loan to the Army at Fort Bragg, N.C., for its training exercises, including Operation Swarmer.

In February 1951, Captain Walmsley was assigned as an all weather fighter pilot at McGuire AFB, N.J., and in June went to Korea for duty with the 3rd Bomb Group's 8th Bomb Squadron, flying B-26 Night Intruders. He flew 25 missions before being killed in action the night of Sept. 14, 1951, while piloting a B-26 which crashed near Yangdock, Korea.

The mission was to develop new combat tactics and hit targets of opportunity. Captain Walmsley sighted an enemy supply train which had been assigned top priority as such a target and he immediately attacked, producing a strike which disabled the train. When his ammunition was expended, he radioed for friendly aircraft in the area to complete destruction of the target. For this and the heroics that cost him his life, Walmsley was awarded the Medal of Honor.

The rest of the story, as related in the citation, is as follows: "Employing the searchlight mounted on his aircraft, Captain Walmsley guided another B-26 to the target area, meanwhile constantly exposing himself to enemy fire. Directing an incoming B-26 pilot, he twice boldly aligned himself with the target, his searchlight illuminating the area, in a determined effort to give the attacking aircraft full visibility. As the friendly aircraft prepared for the attack, Captain Walmsley descended into the valley in a low-level run over the target with searchlight blazing, selflessly exposing himself to vicious enemy antiaircraft fire. In his determination to inflict maximum damage on the enemy, he refused to employ evasive action and valiantly pressed forward straight through an intense barrage, thus ensuring complete destruction of the enemy's vitally needed war cargo. While he courageously pressed his attack, Captain Walmsley's plane was hit and crashed into the surrounding mountains, exploding upon impact. His heroic initiative and daring aggressiveness in completing this important mission in the face of overwhelming opposition and at the risk of his life reflects the highest credit upon himself and the United States AF."

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

more information see the National Museum of the USAF web site.