2 Replies Latest reply on Apr 28, 2020 5:47 PM by Arlynn Fishbaugh

    Seeking my father's Distinguished Flying Cross citation


      Hello!  My father was in the Army Air Corps in 1941-44, flying "The Hump," for which he received the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1943, pinned onto him by Col. Eddie Rickenbocker.  My dad's name is Fred C. Fishbaugh, #19055058.  He was  a transport radio operator, First Ferrying Group, Sixth Ferrying Squadron, stationed in Assam, India, among other places, and also received the Air Medal.


      Where might I get a copy of the Citations and Certificates for which he was awarded these medals? I know the Distinguished Flying Cross medal was awarded to him mid-May 1943 and the Colonel pinned it on him later on that month.   I have just scanned 150 letters he wrote to my mother during the war, and wondered if you could recommend what organization(s) might find these of interest.  Of course, I'll send them to our Montana museums.  Does any body want the original letters? Also, might there be a photo of Colonel Rickenbocker pinning the Distinguished Flying Cross medal on my father in any archives? Although we have his medals as part of our family memorabilia, he is not listed on the Distinguished Flying Cross websites I have visited. Thank you so much!

        • Re: Seeking my father's Distinguished Flying Cross citation
          Jason Atkinson Ranger

          Dear Ms. Fishbaugh,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

          We searched the National Archives Catalog and locate the series Award Cards, 1942 - 1963 in the Records of the National Archives and Records Administration (Record Group 64) that includes Air Force Award Cards [Distinguished Flying Cross]: Filan, Donald - Fogleman, HershelImage 306 is the award card for your father’s Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC). The card states the citation for the original award as General Order No. 31, Headquarters, Tenth Air Force, dated May 3 1943. It also lists “OLC” which stands for Oak Leaf Cluster, indicating that he was awarded a second DFC. The citation for this is General Order No. 19 of Headquarters, India China Wing, Air Transport Command, dated October 14, 1943. In the same series, we also located Air Force Award Cards [Air Medal]: Findrick, Peter - Fisher, Richard. Image 770 is the award card for your father’s Air Medal. The card states that his first award of the Air Medal was under General Order No. 26, Headquarters, Tenth Air Force, dated April 20 1943. His second award (OLC) was under General Order No. 19 of Headquarters, India China Wing, Air Transport Command, dated October 14, 1943.

          The National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) has custody of microfilm copies of operational records relating to U.S. Army Air Force units.  We searched the Air Force History Index to the microfilm and located 6 records for 1943 General orders of the Tenth Air Forces and 5 records for 1943 awards of the India China Wing. Please read the brief Abstract to determine which records you are interested in and click on the specific PDF icon. In the PDF listing, the IRISREF is the microfilm reel number and note the FRAME and FRAMELST numbers for the location on the reel. Please contact RDT2 via email at archives2reference@nara.gov and provide that information.


          Photographs of various U.S. Army (to include U.S. Army Air Force) activities dating from 1940 to 2007 are in the custody of the National Archives at College Park - Still Picture (RDSS). Please contact RDSS via email at stillpix@nara.gov to request a search for photographs of specific persons or units.


          If you have not already done so, we suggest that you request a copy of his Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). OMPFs and individual medical reports for enlisted men of the U.S. Army who were separated from the service after October 1912 and prior to 1958 are in the custody of NARA's National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. In many cases where personnel records were destroyed in the 1973 fire, proof of service can be provided from other records such as morning reports, payrolls, and military orders, and a certificate of military service will be issued. Please complete a GSA Standard Form 180 and mail it to NARA's National Personnel Records Center, (Military Personnel Records), 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO  63138-1002. Veterans and their next of kin can also use eVetRecs to request records. See eVetRecs Help for instructions. For more information see Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Records Requests.


          Also, we searched the World War II Army Enlistment Records available through Access to Archival Databases (AAD) and located an entry for FISHBAUGH#FRED#C that matches your father.


          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2 and RDSS. Also, the National Personnel Records Center is servicing only urgent requests related to homeless veterans, medical emergencies, and funerals which may be faxed to 314-801-0764.  We thank you for your patience and look forward to resuming normal operations when the public health emergency has ended.


          In regard to your question about donating his letters, the Library of Congress’s Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. In addition to audio- and video-recorded oral history interviews, VHP accepts memoirs and collections of original photographs, letters, diaries, maps and other historical documents from veterans who served in the US armed services from World War I through the present.


          The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History collects a variety of material related to American history, to include military history. The Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of the United States Air Force, and other aviation museums might also be interested. State and local museums, libraries and historical societies sometimes collect papers relating to veterans from the geographic area that they cover. If your father was a university graduate, the institution he graduated from may be interested in his papers.


          Also see the following page from the Society of American Archivists about some of the considerations involved in donating personal papers: Donating Your Personal or Family Records to a Repository.


          We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!

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