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John W. Whitehead


Soldier's Medal

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The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting the Soldier's Medal to Captain (Air Corps) John W. Whitehead, United States Army Air Forces, for heroism on 24 August 1947, at Lake Freeman, Indiana. Hearing a young girl scream for help and then seeing her disappear under water, which he knew to be 15 to 20 feet deep, he immediately dived, fully clothed, into the lake and brought the girl to the surface. Although exhausted by his effort to keep the struggling girl afloat, he successfully towed her to the boat from which he had dived. Captain Whitehead's personal courage and quick action in an emergency and at the risk of his life reflected great credit upon himself and the military service.

General Orders: Department of the Army, General Orders No. 20 (December 8, 1947)

Action Date: August 24, 1947

Service: Army Air Forces

Rank: Captain