Leroy F. Berkebile

Lieutenant Commander Leroy F. Berkebile is awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism and extraordinary achievement in aerial flight as Pilot of a Jet Fighter Plane attached to Fighter Squadron Ninety-Two, based on board U.S.S.VALLEY FORGE, during operations against enemy aggressor forces in Korea on 14 March 1953. While flying as strike leader and coordinator of a flight of twenty-two jet fighter and attack planes on a strike against an important and heavily defended enemy supply area near Ham-hung, Lieutenant Commander Berekebile led the flight directly to the target area and, deploying his aircraft with expert timing, permitted the fighter planes to take under fire all known hostile anti-aircraft positions at the precise moment that the main attack was made on the primary target. Following this initial and successful attack, he led and coordinated repeated strikes on other targets in the area, personally scoring direct bomb hits on enemy supply buildings. Through his skillful direction of flak suppression, no aircraft losses were sustained in an area well kown for intense and accurate anti-aircraft fire. When the attacks were completed, he led an unarmed photographic plane in a final low sweep to obtian the complete photographic coverage requried for accurate damage assessment, which revealed forty-two buildings destroyed and heavy damage to numerous other enemy installations. By his brilliant airmanship, courage and steadfast devotion to duty, Lieutenant Commander Berkebile contributed materially to the success of vital operations against the enemy and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.