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January 13, 2012

Submitted by David Franklin, January 2012, son of Gordon E. Franklin:

RESTRICTED Headquarters Fifteenth Air Force C-UPD-rmb APO 520 Us Army General Orders 20 April 1945. Number 2673 Awards Of The Distinguished Flying Cross

Under the provisions of AR 600-45, as amended, and pursuant to authority contained in Circular No. 89, Headquarters NATOUSA, 10 July 1944, the Distinguished Flying Cross is awarded the following named personnel, Air Corps, United States Army, position, date of act and residence as indicated, with the following citation: For extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight against the enemy in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations. Consistently performing vital strategic combat missions against heavy enemy opposition from highly aggressive fighter aircraft and have displayed outstanding courage, aggressiveness and intense devotion to duty throughout all engagements. Although their aircraft have been frequently severely damaged by heavy enemy opposition, these men have consistently fought through to their targets aiding materially in the utter destruction of vitally important enemy installations. Bringing their ships through severe and adverse weather conditions, over rugged terrain and surmounting many other major obstacles, these men have gallantly engaged, fought and defeated the overwhelming odds. Their conspicuous and extraordinary achievements throughout these many missions against the enemy have been of inestimable value to successful combat operations and have reflected great credit upon themselves and the Armed Forces of the United States of America.
GORDON E. FRANKLIN , First Lieutenant, 154th Wea Ron Sq, Fifteenth Air Force, Oroville, California. Pilot, Italy, 22 January 1945.
WILLIS L. HART, First Lieutenant, 154th Wea Ron Sq, Fifteenth Air Force, Orange Core, California. Pilot, Italy, 16 January 1945.
SHERWIN E. LEVINE, First Lieutenant, 827th Bomb Sq, 484th Bomb Gp, Rochester, New York. Navigator, Germany, 17 December 1944.

Oroville Mercury Register
July 12, 2002
Looking Back on Oroville Heroes
Oroville Mercury Register
Dec. 2, 1944
Lt. Franklin Joins Fighters of Famed World War I Group
Lt. Gordon E. Franklin of Lincoln Street, Oroville, has arrived overseas and has been assigned to the AAFs (Army Airforce) oldest fighter group, the “Hat in the Ring.” He will pilot a P-38 Lightning fighter plane in a 15th AAF group commanded by Col. R. B. Richard, of Visalia. “The group was organized during World War I and was the first fighter group to arrive over seas in this war. It has received two Distinguished Unit citations and one Presidential citation. Lt. Franklin attended the University of California before his enlistment in 1942. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Edwin F. Franklin, live in Oroville.

Oroville Mercury Register
April 11, 2003
Looking Back on Oroville Heroes
March 1st & 5th 1945

Lt. Gordon E Franklin, pilot of a P-38, who is stationed in Italy with the Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, has been awarded the Air Medal for completion of a required number of missions and accomplishments. L. Franklin is the son of . Edwin and Bertha Franklin of Oroville.

Stu’s Notes: As my readers know I always want the “rest of the story” . Sometimes it just takes a long time before it comes, that’s why I reran the story’s of 2002 and 2003. David told me his father read the above stories of him but being a modest man he never called me to tell me more. One day before he passed away he did tell David more of his story which David will get to me as best he can remember. He did tell me his Father was valedictorian of Oroville High School Class of 1940 and after the war he went to work for the Olive Products Co at 1735 Mitchell. The Warehouse he worked in then is called the Franklin Warehouse owned by Pacific Coast Producers now. In 1947 Gordon married an Oroville High School girl, Bettie Wallace. Gordon passed away April 1, 2007. Bettie still lives here in Oroville.

The above word, "restricted", was at the very top of the page in big letter as 20 April 1945 the war in Europe was still 18 days from over The Distinguished Flying Cross, established in 1926 was awarded for Heroism or Extraordinary Achievement in Flight. The Medal was fastened to a ribbon with a 4 bladed propeller underneath which made a cross.