Weatherford Democrat

February 3, 2009

WWII pilot gets Distinguished Service Cross


BOSSIER CITY, La. (AP) — A Texas man nearing his 90th birthday has been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his part in a daring 1943 attack on Nazi-controlled oil fields in Romania.

Walter T. “Tom” Holmes Jr. of Jasper, Texas, received the award Monday at Barksdale Air Force Base in northwestern Louisiana.

Maj. Gen. Floyd Carpenter, vice commander of the 8th Air Force, presented Holmes with the medal, which supersedes a Silver Star that Holmes was erroneously awarded after the battle.

Holmes was a B-24 pilot in the 1943 raid.

Joining Holmes on Monday were about two dozen family members, fellow members of his church in Jasper and a handful of fellow fliers from the 1943 mission.