Better late than never!
Last week Octogenarian Retired Air Force Col. Claude M. Schonberger is happy to finally get his DFC, albeit 65 years late!
Schonberger in the Pentagon Hall of Hero’s receiving his Distinguished Flying Cross for his heroic actions as a B-24 Liberator bomber pilot on Feb. 16, 1945.
General Deptula gave the medal presentation:
"Courage -- there are those who attempt to define this small corner of the human soul with eloquent words," Deptula said.
"And then, there are those who define it with their actions; who under great personal risk and danger, and not without fear, but rather in the resolute and firm sense of duty to service before self, act in spite of that fear in the almost certain consequences of the most selfless of ways that show us what courage really is.
"We call those who show us this courage 'heroes,'" the general continued, "and I'm both honored and humbled to be in the presence of just such a hero today: Col. Claude Schonberger.
For aviators, we recognize those heroes and their tenacity with the Distinguished Flying Cross.".
Col Schonberger now joins the elite ranks of those airmen who distinguished themselves with extraordinary heroism in aerial combat.