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William A. Shomo
Pilot, P-39 Airacobra, P-51 Mustang, Medal of Honor

Background
Born in Jeannette, Pennsylvania.

Wartime History
P-39 Airacobra pilot with the 82nd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron flying missions from Dobodura Airfield, Guasap Airfield and Tadji Airfield over Japanese targets on the northern coast of New Guinea.

Next, operated Borokoe Airfield on Biak. On September 2, 1944 piloting a P-40 he led a flight of three Airacobras on a strafing mission. Due to bad weather, they aborted the mission and was the sole survivor.

Afterwards, began flying F6D Mustang (photo reconnaissance variant of P-51D) from Morotai and the Philippines.

Victory Claims of Shomo
January 10, 1945 - claimed one enemy fighter
January 11, 1945 - claimed seven enemy fighters
Total claims = 8

Medal of Honor
On January 11, 1945, Shomo piloting F-6 "Snooks 5th" 44-14841 and his wing man, Lt. Paul Lipscomb piloting F-6 44-14873, took off from Hill Field (Hammer) on an armed photographic and strafing mission mission over northern Luzon including Tuguegarao Airfield, Aparri Airfield, and Laoag Airfield. From below, the pair sighted a formation of enemy planes flying south at about 2,500'. Despite being obviously outnumbered, they immediately pulled Immelmann turns and found themselves behind 11 Ki-61 Tonys and 1 Ki-44 Tojo escorting a G4M Betty.

Medal of Honor Citation
Medal of Honor "Maj. Shomo was lead pilot of a flight of 2 fighter planes charged with an armed photographic and strafing mission against the Aparri and Laoag airdromes. While en route to the objective, he observed an enemy twin engine bomber, protected by 12 fighters, flying about 2,500 feet above him and in the opposite direction Although the odds were 13 to 2, Maj. Shomo immediately ordered an attack. Accompanied by his wingman he 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 wingman had shot down 3 planes, while the 3 remaining enemy fighters had fled into a cloudbank 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."

By April 1, 1945, Shomo had been promoted to major and on April 3, 1945 Shomo was presented with the Medal of Honor. Served as commanding officer of the 82nd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, succeded by Captain Harlan White on June 17, 1945.

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P-39Q "Snooks" 42-20351
MIA piloted by Harrison May 21, 1944

P-39Q "Snooks 2nd" 42-19995
During December 1944, this P-39 was abandoned at Tadji Airfield, salvaged 1974 static display

"Snooks 3rd"
Details unknown

"Snooks 4th"
Details unknown

F-6 "Flying Undertaker - Snooks 5th" 44-14841
Flown on January 11, 1945 on Medal of Honor

F-6 "The Flying Undertaker" 44-72505
Assigned to Shomo, operated from Binmaley Airfield.

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