Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday's Faces From the Past: Fred Pape's Air Medal, ABT 1953 - Military Memories

My dad, Air Force 2nd Lieutenant Fred Pape. received the Air Medal for his service in Korea.

Here is some information about the Air Medal from the Air Force web site:

The Air Medal was established by Executive Order 9158 on May 11, 1942 and amended by Executive Order 9242 on Sept. 11, 1942.

It is awarded to U.S. military and civilian personnel for single acts of heroism or meritorious achievements while participating in aerial flight ... Required achievement is less than that required for the Distinguished Flying Cross, but must be accomplished with distinction above and beyond that expected of professional airmen.  It is not awarded for peace time sustained operational activities and flights. ... 
Air Medal. Illustrated by Virginia Reyes of the Air Force News Agency.

This decoration is the same for all branches of the armed forces of the United States. The medal was designed by Walker K. Hancock, after an open competition, which also carried a cash award of $1,500 for the winning design. 

Medal Description
The medal is a bronze compass rose of sixteen points with a fleur-de-lis design on the top point. On the obverse, in the center, is an eagle, swooping downward (attacking) and clutching a lightning bolt in each talon. The reverse has a raised disk on the compass rose, left blank for the recipient's name and rank. 

Ribbon Description
The ribbon has a broad stripe of ultramarine blue in the center flanked on either side by a wide stripe of golden orange, and with a narrow stripe of ultramarine blue at the edge, the original colors of the Army Air Corps.

You'll note that Dad's wings are very shiny.  He told me that after his commissioning as an officer at Ellington Air Force Base in April 1952, he got his brass insignia chrome-plated in Houston for about $3-4, so he would never have to polish them again.

© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.

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