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|Pilot 2nd Lt Robert Sidell Huffman, O-827209 (KIA, BR) IN
Crashed March 5, 1945 at 1:45pm
On January 11, 1945, took off from Hill Field (Hammer) piloted by 2nd Lt. Paul Lipscomb as wingman for F-6D Mustang 44-14873 piloted by William A. Shomo on an armed photographic and strafing mission over Tuguegarao Airfield, Aparri Airfield, and Laoag Airfield.
Over northern Luzon, the pair sighted a formation of enemy planes flying south at about 2,500' below them. Despite being obviously outnumbered, they immediately pulled an "Immelmann" turn and found themselves behind 11 Ki-61 Tonys and 1 Ki-44 Tojo escorting a G4M Betty.
Although the odds were 13 against 2, Major Shomo immediately ordered an attack. Accompanied by Lipscomb they closed on the enemy formation in a climbing turn and scored hits on the leading plane of the third element, which exploded in midair. Maj. Shomo then attacked the second element from the left side of the formation and shot another fighter down in flames. When the enemy formed for Counterattack, Maj. Shomo moved to the other side of the formation and hit a third fighter which exploded and fell. Diving below the bomber he put a burst into its underside and it crashed and burned. Pulling up from this pass he encountered a fifth plane firing head on and destroyed it. He next dived upon the first element and shot down the lead plane; then diving to 300 feet in pursuit of another fighter he caught it with his initial burst and it crashed in flames. During this action his wing man had shot down 3 planes, while the 3 remaining enemy fighters had fled into a cloud bank and escaped. Maj. Shomo's extraordinary gallantry and intrepidity in attacking such a far superior force and destroying 7 enemy aircraft in one action is unparalleled in the southwest Pacific area. For his actions, Shomo earned the Medal of Honor, awarded on April 3, 1945.
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