May 1, 1943

1943: Sergeant Maynard H. “Snuffy” Smith, a B-17 Flying Fortress gunner, receiving the first Medal of Honor to be awarded to an enlisted Army Air Forces Airman, from US Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson. Smith as tail gunner came under intense enemy fire while returning from a mission to enemy-occupied Europe. Smith, on his first mission, elected to fight a fire, administer first aid, man the waist guns, and fight intense flames alternately.