Sebille -- Maj Louis J Sebille

Medal of Honor recipient, Korea

Medal of Honor recipient, Korea

 

Louis Sebille, one of four airmen to earn the nation's highest award in Korea, enlisted as an aviation cadet at Chicago, Dec. 20, 1941, and trained at Tulsa, Okla.; Perrin Field, Texas; and Lake Charles, La. He got his wings and commission in July 1942, trained as a B-26 medium bomber pilot at MacDill Field, Fla., and went to Europe in January 1943, for combat duty, with promotion to first lieutenant.

Sebille participated in the first low-level attack ever attempted by B-26s on enemy-held territory. He flew many missions either as squadron, group or wing leader. He was promoted to captain in August 1943, and to major a year later, continuing in combat until March 1945. By then he had 68 missions and 245 combat hours to his credit.

On return home he completed the Airborne Radar Familiarization Course at Orlando, Fla., in April 1945, and the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in September 1945.

Sebille held an operations and training assignment at Pinecastle, Fla., when he went off active duty Nov. 5, 1945. He was recalled in July 1946, and was on duty successively at Headquarters, 9th Air Force, Biggs Field, Texas; Barksdale AFB, La.; Langley Field, Va.; Greenville AB, S.C.; and finally to Tyndall Field, Fla., for attendance at the Air Tactical School.

On completing the course he went to the Philippine Islands in September 1948, soon becoming commanding officer of the 18th Fighter Bomber Group's 67th Squadron. When war began in Korea, Sebille took his squadron to Ashiya, Japan, from where it flew sorties in defense of South Korea.

He met his death Aug. 5, 1950, during an attack on a camouflaged area near Hamchang, Korea, that was loaded with enemy troops, artillery and armored vehicles. For his action that day he earned the Medal of Honor, to be placed with the two Distinguished Flying Crosses and 12 Air Medals he received in WWII.

Part of his citation for the nation's highest award follows: ". .. During the attack, Major Sebille's aircraft was severely damaged by antiaircraft fire. Although fully cognizant of the short period he could remain airborne, he deliberately ignored the possibility of survival by abandoning the aircraft or by crash-landing and continued his attack against the enemy forces threatening the security of friendly ground troops. In his determination to inflict maximum damage upon the enemy, he again exposed himself to the intense fire of enemy gun batteries and dived on the target to his death."

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

For 
more information see the National Museum of the USAF website.