US Marine aviators Major John Smith, Major Robert Galer, and Captain Marion Carl having just received Navy Cross medals, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, 1942

Caption   US Marine aviators Major John Smith, Major Robert Galer, and Captain Marion Carl having just received Navy Cross medals, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, 1942 ww2dbase
Source    ww2dbaseUnited States Marine Corps Thayer Soule Collection
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Added By C. Peter Chen
Added Date 5 Oct 2014

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Licensing  Public Domain. According to the United States copyright law (United States Code, Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105), in part, "[c]opyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government".



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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
20 Sep 2014 06:36:23 PM

The Navy Cross awards for Major Smith and Major Galer were later elevated to the Medal of Honor and this award is Captain Carl’s second Navy Cross. Medal of Honor citation for John Lucian Smith: The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Major John Lucian Smith, United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession while serving as a Commanding Officer and a Pilot of Marine Fighting Squadron TWO HUNDRED TWENTY-THREE (VMF-223), Marine Air Group TWENTY-THREE (MAG-23), FIRST Marine Aircraft Wing, during operations against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands Area during August and September 1942. Repeatedly risking his life in aggressive and daring attacks, Major Smith led his squadron against a determined force, greatly superior in numbers, personally shooting down 16 Japanese planes between 21 August and 15 September 1942. In spite of the limited combat experience of many of the pilots of this squadron, they achieved the notable record of a total of 83 enemy aircraft destroyed in this period, mainly attributable to the thorough training under Major Smith and to his intrepid and inspiring leadership. His bold tactics and indomitable fighting spirit, and the valiant and zealous fortitude of the men of his command not only rendered the enemy's attacks ineffective and costly to Japan, but contributed to the security of our advance base. His loyal and courageous devotion to duty sustains and enhances the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. Medal of Honor citation for Robert Edward Galer: The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Major Robert Edward Galer (MCSN: 0-5253), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous heroism and courage above and beyond the call of duty as leader of Marine Fighting Squadron TWO HUNDRED TWENTY-FOUR (VMF-224), Marine Air Group TWENTY-THREE (MAG-23), FIRST Marine Aircraft Wing, in aerial combat with enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands area during the month of October 1942. Leading his squadron repeatedly in daring and aggressive raids against Japanese aerial forces, vastly superior in numbers, Major Galer availed himself of every favorable attack opportunity, individually shooting down 11 enemy bomber and fighter aircraft over a period of 29 days. Though suffering the extreme physical strain attendant upon protracted fighter operations at an altitude above 25,000 feet, the squadron under his zealous and inspiring leadership shot down a total of 27 Japanese planes. His superb airmanship, his outstanding skill and personal valor reflect great credit upon Major Galer's gallant fighting spirit and upon the U.S. Naval Service. Navy Cross Citation for Marion Eugene Carl: The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Navy Cross to Captain Marion Eugene Carl (MCSN: 0-6053), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession while serving as a Pilot in Marine Fighting Squadron TWO HUNDRED TWENTY-THREE (VMF-223), Marine Air Group TWENTY-THREE (MAG-23), FIRST Marine Aircraft Wing, in aerial combat against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomons Islands Area from 24 August 1942 to 9 September 1942. With utter disregard for his own personal safety, Captain Carl, during the period of sixteen days, shot down ten enemy aircraft unassisted, and with the help- of another Marine Corps pilot, succeeded in shooting down the eleventh plane. His brilliant daring and conspicuous skill as an airman served as an inspiration to other pilots of his squadron and contributed greatly to the security of the positions of the United States Forces in the Solomon Islands. His courageous and loyal devotion to duty is in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

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