Donald Luther Balch
|U.S. Marine Corps
|Distinguished Flying Cross
Distinguished Flying Cross, Naval Aviator, Air Medal w/4 Stars
An Air Ace Fighter pilot with five downed enemy aircraft to his credit. Flew F4U Corsairs primarily from the carrier USS Bunker Hill CV-17. Participated in the fleet sweep over Japan and supported the landing at Iwo Jima and operations on Okinawa.
"Bullets couldn't stop this Leatherneck"
With the tail of his Corsair heavily damaged by enemy .50 caliber machine gun fire and a bullet punctured tire, 1st Lt. Donald Balch, USC, managed to land his plane at his South Pacific base and escape injury. The plane pancaked as it hit the field. Lt Balch contemplates his relatively good fortune with a smile of relief.
"The Fighting Falcons"