John P. Gallagher

Shoots Down Two Japs Over Rabaul; Gets Flying Cross
Staff Sergeant John P. Gallagher, aerial gunner serving on a bomber in the South Pacific, has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He is credited with shooting down two Jap planes over Rabaul, New Britain.

The following letter was received by Staff Sergeant Gallagher's mother, Mrs. Della Gallagher, 603 1/2 Balcom Street, from Lieutenant General George C. Kenny, commanding the Fifth Air Force:

"Recently your son, Staff Sergeant John P. Gallagher, was decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross. It was an award made in recognition of courageous service to his combat organization, his fellow American airmen, his country, his home, and to you.

"He was cited for heroism in flight and exceptional and outstanding accomplishment in the face of great danger above and beyond the line of duty over Rabaul, New Britain.

"He was a member of the crew of a bomber which was engaged in an attack on an enemy airdrome when an enemy fighter intercepted. Your son fired several bursts into it, and it began to smoke badly and fell into the sea. Another enemy fighter attacked, and he also destroyed this one."

Eau Claire, Beloit Aviators Earn Air Medals

ALLIED  HEADQUARTERS, IN SOUTHWEST PACIFIC, May 3 (AP)—Air medals for heroism displayed during 100 hours of operation flight missions in the Southwest Pacific have been awarded by Lieutenant General George 0. Kenney to 23 officers and men, including  two from Wisconsin, it was announced today. 

The recipients were Major Robert J. Colleran, La Crosse, and Captain John M. Griffith, Beloit.

The operations, General Kenney said, consisted of more than 50 bombing missions against enemy airdromes and installations and attacks on enemy shipping. 

A delayed announcement from the same war theater said that, previously, the Air Medal had been awarded two other Wisconsin men, Sergeant John P. Gallagher, Eau Claire, and Sergeant Warren R. Letich, Kenosha, for "meritorious achievement while participating in sustained operational flight missions in the Southwest Pacific area, during which hostile contact was probable and expected.

Staff Sergeant John P. Gallagher, whose home address is 603 1/2 Balcom Street, has been awarded the Oak Leaf Cluster to his Air Medal for meritorious achievement in an aerial flight over Rabaul, New Britain on November 2, 1943. 

Sergeant Gallagher was a gunner on a B-25 on this flight, which met 60 hostile planes. More than 50,000 tons of enemy shipping was destroyed and 8 planes shot down in this raid.

Staff Sergeant John P. Gallagher, who for the past three weeks has been visiting his mother, Mrs. Della Gallagher, 603 ½ Balcom Street, left Thursday on the “400” for Atlantic City, NJ where he will be reassigned for duty. Sergeant Gallagher recently returned from the New Guinea area after completing 50 missions over enemy territory. Mrs. Gallagher has also received word that another son, Private Robert Gallagher, has arrived safely in New Guinea.