July 9, 1944

1944: During an attack on Ploesti oil refineries, Lt Donald D. Pucket’s B-24 received heavy and direct hits. He turned over controls of his bomber to the copilot to administer first aid and survey the damage. Although he jettisoned all the guns and equipment possible, the plane continued to lose altitude. Pucket ordered his crew to abandon ship, but three men refused. Therefore, he tried to control the plane. A few moments later, the flaming bomber crashed on a mountainside. For his courage and supreme sacrifice, Pucket received the Medal of Honor. Pucket joined the Army from Boulder, Colorado in 1942, and by July 9, 1944, was a first lieutenant piloting bombers with the 98th Bombardment Group.