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Herbert Brooks Hatch , Jr.

Date of birth: May 23, 1918
Date of death: April 24, 2002
Place of Birth: Minnesota, St. Paul
Home of record: Stockton California

During World War II, Herbert Hatch became a U.S. Army Air Forces ACE-in-a-DAY, credited with shooting down 5 enemy aircraft in aerial combat in a single engagement on June 10, 1944.

AWARDS AND CITATIONS

Distinguished Service Cross

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

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 First Lieutenant (Air Corps) Herbert Brooks Hatch, Jr. (ASN: 0-760190), United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Pilot of a P-38 Fighter Airplane in the 71st Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group, FIFTEENTH Air Force, in aerial combat against enemy forces on 10 June 1944, during an air mission over Ploesti, Rumania. As part of the formation of fighter escorts for P-38 fighter bombers attacking a vitally important oil refinery in Ploesti, Lieutenant Hatch destroyed five enemy fighters, probably destroyed one and damaged another. In an effort to obtain surprise, the formation had flown at tree-top level but were attached by a numerically superior force prior to reaching the target. After engaging the enemy in furious combat, and expending all its ammunition, Lieutenant Hatch joined two other P-38's, whose ammunition was also completely exhausted, in a desperate attempt to assist comrades who were in need of help. Despite the lack of ammunition, Lieutenant Hatch returned with the formation through heavy anti-aircraft fire into the combat area and covered the withdrawal of another aircraft which had developed engine trouble. Lieutenant Hatch's gallantry in action, extreme devotion to duty, and outstanding heroism reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United States.

General Orders: Headquarters, U.S. Army Air Forces-Mediterranean Theater of Operations, General Orders No. 38 (August 1, 1944)

Action Date: June 10, 1944

Service: Army Air Forces

Rank: First Lieutenant

Battalion: 71st Fighter Squadron

Regiment: 1st Fighter Group

Division: 15th Air Force

Distinguished Flying Cross

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: First Lieutenant (Air Corps) Herbert Brooks Hatch, Jr. (ASN: 0-760190), United States Army Air Forces, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as a P-38 Fighter Pilot of the 71st Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group, FIFTEENTH Air Force, in action against the enemy in aerial combat in the Mediterranean Theater of Action during World War II. The skillful and zealous manner in which he has sought out the enemy and destroyed him, his devotion to duty and courage under all conditions serve as an inspiration to his fellow flyers. His actions on all these occasions reflect the highest credit upon himself and the Armed Force of the United States.

Action Date: World War II

Service: Army Air Forces

Rank: First Lieutenant

Battalion: 71st Fighter Squadron

Regiment: 1st Fighter Group

Division: 15th Air Force