64 Years Later, a DFC

Records kept by the Air Force Historical Research Agency helped lead the Air Force to award a Distinguished Flying Cross posthumously to 1st Lt. Louis Valls earlier this year for his actions piloting a B-26 bomber during World War II, according to a May 20 report in the Maxwell/Gunter Dispatch. Lt. Col. Peter Guerra, a great nephew of Valls, researched AFHRA records while attending Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell AFB, Ala. He found information on a January 1944 mission, the last for Valls, in which he instructed his crew to bail out after his aircraft was severely damaged before reaching its target in Italy; Valls stayed with the aircraft to complete the mission. Guerra coupled his AFHRA data with survivor accounts and a lawmaker endorsement to produce a package that survived the Air Force awards process. (Air University report by Scott Knuteson)