Alfred L Cope, Sr.

The President of the United States takes great pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Commander Alfred L. Cope for heroism and extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as Commanding Officer of Blimp Squadron Twenty-One in salvaging a wrecked non-rigid airship from the Bay of Biscayne, October 30, 1943. Upon reaching the scene of the wreck, Commander Cope boarded the ship which had remained afloat and quickly estimated the extent of the damage and the chance of salvaging the craft. Aware of the dangers involved in flying a ship with one propeller and the power plant completely wrecked in addition to other serious damage, Commander Cope succeeded with the assistance of a volunteer crew, in free-ballooning the airship from the water and returning it safely to base where a gentle and skillful landing was effected. His expert knowledge and outstanding ability as an airman and his courageous determination enabled him to save a valuable airship for further service.