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First Name: Grover

Last Name: Blissard

Birthplace: Stamford, TX, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: U.S. Army Air Forces (1941 - 1947)

Home of Record: Big Spring, TX
Middle Name: Cleveland

Date of Birth: 11 May 1918

Date of Death: 19 May 2003

Rank: Captain

Years Served:
Grover Cleveland Blissard, Jr.

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Grover Cleveland Blissard

Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Forces

Distinguished Service Cross

As a Lieutenant, Blissard was a World War II war hero. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Special Citation for Heroism, Purple Heart, Air Medal and wore three stars on his campaign medal, each representing a major engagement. He was a co-pilot flying over Northern Italy when a 20 mm shell hit his compartment, severing his left leg and shattering his right leg. He flew the "Wolf Pack" while the pilot repaired the radio. He helped land the plane in Sardinia and his crew was credited with the capture of the island. The "Wolf Pack" was the first American plane to land in Sardinia. He was taken to a hospital in Sardinia where his left leg was amputated. Source of Information: The Abilene Reporter, 4 April 1944.

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Second Lieutenant (Air Corps) Grover Cleveland Blissard, United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Co-Pilot of a B-17 Heavy Bomber in the 429th Bombardment Squadron, 2d Bombardment Group (H), TWELFTH Air Force, on 5 October 1943.
While approaching the bombing run over Bologna, Italy, Lieutenant Blissard's formation was attacked by more than twenty enemy fighter planes. Despite intense pain, when an exploding cannon shell shattered his right leg and severely wounded his left leg, Lieutenant Blissard himself applied a tourniquet and in the face of repeated aerial attacks, heroically remained at his post, efficiently assisting the pilot in continuing on over the target through a concentrated barrage of anti-aircraft fire. During the difficult return to an emergency landing ground in Sardinlo, with one engine out of commission and his pilot occupied withy emergency duties, Lieutenant Blissard for a short period of time piloted his B-17 unassisted. Throughout a long period of waiting, before medical attention could be provided and during the treatment which necessitated the amputation of his right leg, he displayed the utmost in fortitude and self-possession. The personal courage and zealous devotion to duty displayed by Second Lieutenant Blissard on this occasion have upheld the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 12th Air Force, and the United States Army Air Forces.

Distinguished Service Cross
Purple Heart
Air Medal
WWII Victory Medal
and others

Origin of Nickname/Handle:

Texas WWII Exceptional Gallantry

Honoree ID: 315780   Created by: drjones46




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