Capt James Wilkinson
06/04/1944
NE of Llandevery, Wales
Flying Accident,Fatal
P-47
D 42-26256  MX-G
Distinguished Service Cross

Awarded posthumously for actions during the World War II
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of
Congress July 9, 1918, takes pride in presenting the Distinguished
Service Cross (Posthumously) to Captain (Air Corps) James W.
Wilkinson (ASN: 0-885574), United States Army Air Forces, for
extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an
armed enemy while serving as Pilot of a P-47 Fighter Airplane in the
82d Fighter Squadron, 78th Fighter Group, EIGHTH Air Force, in aerial
combat against enemy forces on 19 May 1944, during an air mission in
the European Theater of Operations. On this date Captain Wilkinson,
without regard to the almost insuperable odds against him, led a flight
of three fighters in an attack against thirty or more enemy fighters
forming to attack a friendly bomber formation. Disregarding the danger
of attack by even larger numbers of enemy fighters approaching behind
the first enemy formation, Captain Wilkinson and his wingmen
completely dispersed the enemy flight. During this engagement, one of
his wingman was forced out of action, and Captain Wilkinson's plane
was damaged by enemy fire. Nevertheless he unhesitatingly flew into
the second flight of enemy fighters and broke up its attack against the
bombers. He and his remaining wingman then flew ahead of the
bombers and attacked a third enemy group of more than thirty fighters
forming for attack against the bombers. Although in this action his
other wingman was lost, Captain Wilkinson continued to press straight
through the enemy flight, shot down one plane, and once more broke
up a threat against the bombers. By his extraordinary heroism and his
determination to protect the bombers at all costs, Captain Wilkinson
rendered outstanding and valorous service to our nation.
General Orders: Headquarters, U.S. Strategic Forces in Europe,
General Orders No. 38 (June 25, 1944)
Action Date: 19-May-44
Service: Army Air Forces
Rank: Captain
Company: 82d Fighter Squadron
Regiment: 78th Fighter Group
Division: 8th Air Force