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2LT Gordon H Sterling, Jr

2LT Gordon H Sterling, Jr

Birth
Death 7 Dec 1941 (aged 22)
Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Plot MEMORIAL SECTION I SITE 159
Memorial ID 127157924 · View Source
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2ND LT US ARMY AIR CORPS SERVICE# 0-411852

STERLING WAS BORN IN ILION, NEW YORK, THEN IN 1927 HE AND HIS FAMILY MOVED TO AND WAS RAISED IN SYRACUSE. HE ATTENDED JOHN T. ROBERTS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL AND ROOSEVELT JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL BEFORE ENROLLING IN ONONDAGA VALLEY ACADEMY.

HE ATTENDED TRINITY COLLEGE IN HARTFORD, CT., FROM 1937-1939.
HE ENTERED MILITARY SERVICE FROM CONNECTICUT.
HE HAD ATTENDED AND GRADUATED FROM THE ADVANCED FLYING SCHOOL, MAXWELL FIELD, MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA IN MAY 1941.
2ND LT STERLING WAS STATIONED AT WHEELER AIR BASE WITH THE 46TH PURSUIT SQUADRON, 15TH PURSUIT GROUP, AND WAS THE ASSISTANT FLIGHT ENGINEER FOR THE SQUADRON, ONLY RECENTLY PASSING HIS FLIGHT TESTS. ONCE HE BOARDED HIS P36 HAWK FIGHTER PLANE, HIS WORDS TO HIS CREW CHIEF WERE… "GIVE THIS WATCH TO MY MOTHER, I'M NOT COMING BACK". SHORTLY THEREAFTER, HE WAS ONE ZERO'S TAIL WHEN HE WAS JUMPED BY A ZERO GROUP LEADER, FUJITA, WHO IN TURN WAS BEING FIRED UPON BY A P-36 FLOWN BY THE SQUADRON COMMANDER, 1ST LT. LEWIS SANDERS.

WHEN THE ATTACK ON THE ISLAND BEGAN, HE JOINED A SMALL GROUP OF AIRCRAFT TO CONFRONT THE JAPANESE OVER KANEOHE. HE WAS SHOT DOWN OFF KANEOHE BAY IN THE MIDST OF A DOG FIGHT WITH A JAPANESE AIRCRAFT. HIS AIRCRAFT RECEIVED MULTIPLE BULLETS, CAUGHT FIRE, AND CRASHED INTO KANEOHE BAY.

HE WAS CREDITED WITH SHOOTING DOWN THE JAPANESE ZERO HE WAS PURSUING. NEITHER HE NOR HIS AIRCRAFT WERE EVER FOUND.

HIS AWARDS ARE THE DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS,
PURPLE HEART,AMERICAN DEFENSE SERVICE MEDAL AND THE ASIATIC PACIFIC CAMPAIGN MEDAL AND THE WORLD WAR II VICTORY MEDAL.

HE LEFT BEHIND HIS FIANCEE, 2ND LT. ADAM M. "PEGGY" OLSSON, A NURSE AT NEARBY SCHOFIELD BARRACKS STATION HOSPITAL.

OBITUARY FOR CAPT. ADA M. "PEGGY" OLSSON US ARMY NURSE...
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=OLSSON&GSfn=ADA&GSmn=M&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSob=n&GRid=76719814&df=all&


SOURCE:

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/ghsterlingjr.htm


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  • Created by: Patrick Ryan McGrady
  • Added: 30 Mar 2014
  • Find A Grave Memorial 127157924
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for 2LT Gordon H Sterling, Jr (30 Jun 1919–7 Dec 1941), Find A Grave Memorial no. 127157924, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Patrick Ryan McGrady (contributor 47493566) .