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Lee, George Theodore

Date of birth:
August 5th, 1919 (Norwood/Massachusetts, United States)
Date of death:
October 5th, 1954 (Gerald/Missouri, United States)
Nationality:
American (1776 - present, Republic)

Biography

George Lee enlisted as an Aviation Cadet at Boston in December 1941. Following completion of his pilot training he was commissioned in August 1942 as a Second Lieutenant in the Air Corps Reserve.
After receiving his commission he was immediately assigned to the 87th Fighter Squadron, 79th Fighter Group, stationed at Rentschler Field, Connecticut, with the duties of Squadron Operations Officer. In October 1942, he and the squadron travelled to Europe. From November 1943 to September 1945 he performed the duties of Squadron Commander of the 87th Fighter Squadron, Group Commander and Air Base Commander of the 86th Fighter Group. During his tour of duty in European Theatre he completed 258 combat missions, - a total of 420 combat hours - and was officially credited with the destruction of three enemy aircraft.
He returned to the United States in October 1945 and was released from active duty in September 1947. Recalled in December 1948, he served in the Berlin Airlift and returned to the United States in December 1951. Colonel Lee was killed in an aircraft accident in 1954 in Gerald, Missouri, when his plane crashed during a violent thunderstorm. At the time of his death he held the position of Inspector-General at the Central Air Defence Force at Grandview, Missouri.
His medals are currently in the collection of the Imperial War Museum

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
June 1943
Air Medal (AM)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
July 1943
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Recommendation:
"On 30 November 1943, Major Lee, leading a six aircraft Flight to a close support target on the Sangro Front, saw six or eight F.W. 190s strafing. His flight jettisoned bombs over the enemy and dived to attack. In the ensuing dogfight, two of the F.W. 190s were destroyed and another damaged, Major Lee accounting for one destroyed and one damaged. Since their target could not be bombed, and not satisfied with breaking up the German strafing attack, Major Lee led his Flight to strafe some troublesome 88mm. gun positions in the face of intense ground fire. Such relentless devotion to duty, courage and leadership, Major Lee has continuously displayed on the Tunisian, Pantellerian, Sicilian and Italian Campaigns, to win the respect and admiration of his Command as well as to reflect great credit upon the Allied Air Forces. With the 79 Fighter Group, as part of the Western Desert Air Force, Major Lee commenced operations on 14 March 1943. He holds the American D.F.C. and Air Medal with six clusters. He has destroyed three enemy aircraft and damaged two."
Approved by the King in April 1944.
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
February 1945
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Silver Star 11.5.1945. Recommendation states 'For gallantry in action on 20 March 1945, when Lieutenant-Colonel Lee flew with eight other P-47 aircraft in a bombing attack coordinated with our ground forces on pillboxes and defended positions near Niederachlettenbach, Germany. When the target was found to be obscured by low visibility and cloud cover, Lieutenant-Colonel Lee instructed the Flight to remain in the area while he courageously dove through the overcast and established exact target pinpoints. Returning to the Flight, he led the initial bombing attack after which, exposed to enemy fire, he hovered over the target directing each aircraft's bombing. Only when friendly troops were observed moving in to occupy, did he call off the attack. The gallantry and skill of Lieutenant-Colonel Lee reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United States'.
Silver Star Medal (SSM)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
February 1947
Bronze Star  Medal (BSM)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
With Bronze Palme.
Croix de Guerre (1939-1945)

Sources

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