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1st Lt. William P. Erwin

Distinguished Service Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster

ERWIN, WILLIAM P.
First Lieutenant (Air Service), U.S. Army
Pilot, 1st Aero Squadron, Air Service, A.E.F.
Date of Action: June, July & September 12 - 15, 1918


Citation:


The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to William P. Erwin, First Lieutenant (Air Service), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action in the Chateau-Thierry and St. Mihiel Salients, France. Lieutenant Erwin, with Second Lieutenant Byrne V. Baucom, observer, by a long period of faithful and heroic operations, set an inspiring example of courage and devotion to duty to his entire squadron. Throughout the Chateau- Thierry actions, in June and July, 1918, he flew under the worst weather conditions and successfully carried out his missions in the face of heavy odds. In the St. Mihiel sector, September 12 - 15, 1918, he repeated his previous courageous work. He flew as low as 50 feet from the ground behind the enemy's lines, harassing German troops with machine-gun fire and subjecting himself to attack from ground batteries, machine- guns, and rifles. He twice drove off enemy planes which were attempting to destroy an American observation balloon. On September 12 and 13, 1918, he flew at extremely low altitudes and carried out infantry contact patrols successfully. Again on September 12 he attacked a German battery, forced the crew to abandon it, shot off of his horse a German officer who was trying to escape, drove the cannoneers to their dugouts, and kept them there until the infantry could come up and capture them.


General Orders 70, W.D., 1919
Birth: 10/18/1895 - Ryan, OK
Home Town: Chicago, IL
Other Award: Distinguished Service Cross w/OLC (WWI)


1st Lt. William P. Erwin


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