Walter Tom Holmes Jr

Military
media-55392.jpeg UPL 55392 Walter T. Holmes Jr. upgrade from Silver Star to Distinguished Service Cross

Newspaper article on Walter T. Holmes Silver Star upgrade to the Distinguished Service Cross in 2009.

Object Number - UPL 55392 - Walter T. Holmes Jr. upgrade from Silver Star to Distinguished Service Cross

Joined Sqd 4/1/42. ETO/Flight Echelon 10/2/42. WIA 12/6/42 (Abbeyville). DS/Benghazi 6/26/43. Returned to base 8/26/43. Completed tour 8/25/43.



Awarded DSC as pilot of B-24 'Wing and a Prayer' with a volunteer crew on a mission which was deemed a suicide mission.



Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1 August 1943, flying B-24 Liberator 41-24211.



Holmes had completed all required 25 missions and had been named operations officer. The dangerous mission was a 2100 mile round trip to a heavily-fortified oil refinery in Romania. Holmes led one of the formations and cruised at tree top level near the target. After dropping the bombs, they headed to Libya. Short of fuel, they successfully landed with less than 10 minutes of fuel.



Distinguished Service Cross awarded February 2, 2009. More than likely, his Silver Star was revoked so it could be upgraded to the DSC.



Awards: Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star (more than likely revoked for DSC upgrade), Distinguished Flying Cross with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart and Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross (British), American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with at least one bronze service star and the World War II Victory Medal.

Connections

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Units served with

The insignia of the 44th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
B-24 Liberators of the 44th Bomb Group line up for takeoff at Shipdham in 1943. The 'Flying Eight-Ball' emblem of the 68th Bomb Squadron is visible on the nose of the leading aircraft. Image stamped with field press censor, 1943. Press Agency photograph- original printed caption has been removed.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Squadron
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: Wing and a Prayer
  • Unit: 44th Bomb Group 68th Bomb Squadron

Missions

Events

Event Location Date Description

Born

14 February 1919

Enlisted

14 July 1941 Dallas, Texas

Died

25 May 2009 Jasper, Jasper County, Texas

Buried/ Commemorated

Evergreen Cemetery Jasper, Jasper County, Texas

Revisions

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Sources

NARA files verified SS, DFC with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart and AM with three Oak Leaf Clusters during WW II.
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/37638282/walter-tom-holmes

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ContributorAAM
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Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Webb Todd, http://www. freerepublic.com Feb 12, 2009 posting by Tech Sgt. M. Erick Reynolds, USAF

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