After 67 years, B-17 World War II Pilot Honored for Heroism
May 18, 2012 Leave a Comment
On Valentine’s Day 1945, a crew of B-17 Bomber survived an emergency landing on a rugged terrain in Czechoslovakia. The 11-man crew owe their lives to the heroism of B-17 pilot Elmer Wulf.
Hugh “Robbie” Robinson, Wulf’s co-pilot on that day, recalled how Wulf kept the B-17 Bomber in the air as it lost its engines one by one. When only one engine was left, Wulf ordered his crew to parachute out before crash landing the aircraft. Robinson said that Wulf was driven by his belief that they can survive and would not be captured by the Germans.
After 67 years, Elmer Wulf’s heroism is finally recognized with the Distinguished Flying Cross, a prestigious military aviation award. The award makes lines him up with other legendary pilots like Charles Lindbergh, the first recipient of the award.
“The Distinguished Flying Cross represents heroism at its finest. The Air Force awards this cross to those who, in combat, demonstrate heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial fight,” U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert said, “So there’s no doubt that on Feb. 14, 1945, Elmer’s bravery knew no bounds.”
The Distuinguished Flying Cross is usually given to the recipient soon after the event by their supervisors. But since it did not happen in Wulf’s case, it took a nomination of one of his crew members and three years of correspondence between the Air Force and Biggert’s office to bring him the recognition. The nomination came from Charles Majors, radar operator for the Valentine’s Day mission.
U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert presented Wulf’s award to his wife, Jane Wulf. Elmer Wulf died two years ago at age 84.
News source: www.dailyherald.com