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First Name: Walter

Last Name: Holmes

Birthplace: Higgins, TX, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Higgins, TX
Middle Name: T.

Date of Birth: 04 February 1919

Date of Death: 25 May 2009

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Years Served:
Walter Tom Holmes, Jr.

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Walter Tom Holmes, Jr.

Lieutenant Colonel, U. S. Army Air Forces

Distinguished Service Cross

Headquarters, Department of the Army, General Orders No. 209-11 (December 16, 2009)
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 Captain (Air Corps) Walter Tom Holmes, United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving at Pilot of a B-24 Heavy Bomber with the 68th Bombardment Squadron, 44th Bombardment Group (H), NINTH Air Force (Attached), in the European Theater of Operations on 1 August 1943, while serving as the squadron's Operations Officer in aerial combat operations over the Ploesti Oil Refineries of Rumania.
Captain Holmes piloted a lead aircraft in a formation of B-24 type aircraft that attacked a highly important oil refinery at extremely low altitude. Because of the nature of the target, it was imperative the lead pilot follow an exact course to and over the target. Some fifteen miles before reaching the objective, Captain Holmes' aircraft was subjected to heavy point blank anti-aircraft and machine-gun fire. Knowing that evasive action would disrupt the close flying formation, Captain Holmes, thinking only of the complete destruction of his separate target ahead, and with complete disregard for personal risk of life, kept fast to the course, leading his formation through fire and smoke straight over the target. His courageous determination and exceptional piloting skill resulted in the successful and full destruction of his target. Captain Holmes' actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon him, the 44th Bombardment Group, and the United States Army.

Origin of Nickname/Handle:

Texas Exceptional Gallantry

Honoree ID: 319661   Created by: drjones46




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