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Ohio Military Hall of Fame
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First Lieutenant Joseph J. Columbro Class of 2016

Distinguished Flying Cross


Distinguished Flying Cross

For extraordinary heroism in aerial flight as crewmembers of a B-24 type aircraft. On 22 June 1944, this gallant crew participated in a bombing mission against vitally important and heavily defended enemy installations in Italy. Leaving the target after a highly successful bombing run, their aircraft was severely damaged by intense and accurate anti-aircraft fire, destroying the entire front of the nose turret and killing the nose turret gunner instantly. Despite continued enemy fire, and the almost un-airworthy condition of their aircraft, displaying outstanding courage and teamwork, they gallantly maintained control of the crippled aircraft and held it within the protective formation. Attacked by aggressive enemy fighters, the gunners skillfully manned their positions and so effectively defended their aircraft that all subsequent attacks were repulsed. Through outstanding coordination, resourcefulness, and initiative, they succeeded in bringing their crippled ship to base for a safe landing without further damage. By their outstanding courage and devotion to duty, these men have reflected great credit upon themselves and the Armed Forces of the United States of America.