Skip to main content

IWM catalogue record

This contains information written on the back of the original print and some of it may be inaccurate.

Brigadier-General Curtis LeMay presents Lieutenant-Colonel Preston Piper of the 385th Bomb Group the Soldier's Medal for Gallantry. Image stamped on reverse; ‘Keystone Press.’ [stamp], ‘Passed for Publication [ilegible] Nov 1943.’ [stamp] and ‘292903.’ [Censor no.] Printed caption on reverse: 'PRESENTATION OF AWARDS TO THE HEROIC FLYERS OF THE EIGHTH AIR FORCE. So many American flyers of the Eighth Air Force here achieved many high distinctions that the presentation of medals and awards has become a "big business" in England. One of them is Lt Col Preston Piper, 27 year old Fortress pilot and Deputy Group Commander of Santa Ana, California. Col Piper, a filing station attendant and department store clark in civilian life, became a fighter pilot three years ago, and was transferred to Forts about a year and a half ago. Leader on numerous highly successful missions against the Nazi. Col Piper has already been presented the Air Medal and the Soldiers medal. US Pool/SG/Hel. Keystone. Photo shows: The award approved, Brig Gen Curtis LeMay, Columbus, Ohio, Heavy Bombardment Division Commander, comes to the station to make the presentation. Lt Col is presented with the Soldiers Medal for gallantry in saving the lives of the crewmen of his ship the "Lulu Belle".'



  • 385th Bomb Group

    385th Bomb Group

    The 385th Bomb Group, who took the nickname "Van's Valiants" after their first Commanding Officer Col. Elliot Vandevanter, flew B-17s from Great Ashfield, Suffolk. The Group led the famous attack on the Focke-Wolfe aircraft factory at Marienburg on 9...


  • Curtis LeMay

    Military | General | Commanding General
    306th Temporary Deputy Commander at Wendover, then transferred as Group Commander of 305th BG 4-Jun-42 to 15-May-43. ...

  • Preston Piper

    Military | Colonel | Pilot
    More than anything, he loved to fly. In high school in Santa Ana, he was part of a club that built a glider plane. I have home movies he made flying over the orange groves in Santa Ana, California in the mid-1930's. Shot down 24 August 1943 in B-17 ...


Date Contributor Update
29 September 2014 13:03:18 Emily Changes to place associations

FRE 1426

Date Contributor Update
28 September 2014 13:03:17 Tom Changes to caption and person associations

Associated Curtis LeMay from the Roger Freeman Collection image caption

Date Contributor Update
08 September 2014 15:23:52 AAM AAM ingest

IWM, Roger Freeman Collection