2023 // Silver Star

Staff Sergeant Robert W. Hickman
Robert Hickman

For gallantry in action as crew of a B-24 type aircraft.  On 28 June 1944, this crew participated in a bombing mission against highly important and vital enemy oil fields in Rumania. Enroute to the target severe enemy opposition in the form of intense and accurate anti-aircraft fire and enemy fighters was encountered, inflicting grave damage to the aircraft this gallant crew was flying, and seriously wounding the bombardier.  Despite the damaged condition of their aircraft and continued heavy enemy opposition, these men skillfully maintained their lead position, thereby completing a highly successful bombing run.  The bombardier displayed great courage in releasing his bombs despite his severe wound.  Rallying from the target their aircraft was savagely attacked by eight enemy fighters, who singled out their crippled aircraft and made seven aggressive attacks before being finally driven away.  Despite the seriousness and almost uncontrollable condition of their aircraft, these courageous crewmen remained at their stations and succeeded in warding off the enemy aircraft.  Nine of these crew members were seriously wounded by the enemy fighter fire, but in the face of disaster, destroyed six of the hostile aircraft.  The pilot, co-pilot and navigator displayed great technique in pulling the aircraft out of a steep dive and bringing it safely back to an advanced allied air field without the protection of other friendly aircraft.  By their gallant action, firm determination to successfully complete their mission, and their sincere devotion to duty, this gallant crew has upheld the highest traditions of the Military Service, thereby reflecting great credit upon themselves and the Armed Forces of the United States of America.