Medal of Honor Winner Downs Six Enemy Aircraft in One Mission

U.S. Army Air Forces Col. Neel E. Kearby volunteers to lead a reconnaissance mission over a heavily defended Japanese base near Weewak, New Guinea. After completing the mission and shooting down a stray fighter, Kearby sights 12 enemy bombers and 36 fighters, and despite being low on fuel, gives his flight the signal to press the attack. He personally shoots down three aircraft in quick succession and then shoots down two enemy aircraft that were pursuing his wingman. He pulls his flight together in the clouds and then escapes to safety. For his actions on this date, Kearby was awarded the Medal of Honor.