Lawrence Berkoff

Berkoff, Lawrence, Second Lieutenant, United States Army Air Force Corps, is awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Second Lieutenant Lawrence Berkoff distinguished himself by heroism while participating in aerial flight as B-24 Liberator Pilot, 856th Squadron, 492nd Bomber Group, 8th Air Force, Lamborun, England on 8 September 1944. On that date, while on a covert mission, Lieutenant Berkoff’s B-24 he was piloting suffered mechanical failure and crashed in southwestern England. Lieutenant Berkoff was killed on impact, but not before saving the lives of his entire crew and the lives of scores of civilians on the ground. Their mission was to drop supplies for the French Resistance. Shortly after take off, Lieutenant Berkoff noticed flames ejecting from one of the engines. Not wanting to abort the mission unless absolutely necessary, he decided to circle the field until the flames diminished. As the plane neared the English Cannel, engine number one shut off completely and engine number two began emitting flames. Due to the irreparable nature of plane, Lieutenant Berkoff gave the order for the crew to bail out. The outstanding heroism and selfless devotion to duty displayed by Lieutenant Berkoff reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Army Air Force Corps.