- Second World War (1939-1945)
- 73rd Bombardment Squadron, 28th Bombardment Group, 11th Air Force
- Awarded on:
- July 31st, 1942
"The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Captain (Air Corps) George W. Thornbrough (ASN: 0-22400), United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving in the 73d Bombardment Squadron, 28th Bombardment Group (C), ELEVENTH Air Force, while participating in an air mission on 4 June 1942, against enemy targets in the Aleutian area, Territory of Alaska. Captain Thornbrough was First Pilot in a B-26 airplane engaged in a torpedo attack on an enemy fleet within 150 miles of Fort Glenn, Alaska. Flying under the most difficult and dangerous conditions through clouds and fog and being separated from his flight, Captain Thornbrough dived through heavy anti-aircraft fire from several enemy ships, released his torpedo, which hit the deck of the carrier and then proceeded back to his base, Fort Randall, loaded four five-hundred-pound bombs and returned with his single plane to attack the enemy fleet, in which act he lost his life. Captain Thornbrough's act of reloading his airplane with the bombs and taking off on a new mission in the face of closing weather and overwhelming odds demonstrated outstanding heroism and determination to accomplish his mission. The courage and heroism displayed by Captain Thornbrough in making the supreme sacrifice reflects great credit upon himself and the Army Air Forces."
Headquarters, Alaska Defense Command, General Orders No. 67 (posthumousy)