Ed Stevens was a B-17 pilot during WWII flying 32 combat missions over Europe in 1944. On this mission, he skillfully flew his heavily damaged aircraft back to England on one engine thereby saving his crew and aircraft. Well Done, Ed.

I know there are many recipients of the Silver Star among our members but I thought this one was particularly interesting. Not only was it awarded to our oldest living member but was awarded some 66 years after the action occurred.

Stevens received his helicopter pilot qualification in 1947.


Kyron Hall, Historian, USAFHPA

(The following text messages have been edited for clarity and brevity.)



To: Linda Stevens,

Thank you for passing this on to me. I would be very much interested in the story behind Ed's award. If you would like to forward it to me, I would appreciate it.

KV Hall, Historian, USAFHPA


Jan 15, 2010


To: Historian, USAFHPA:


As you may know, my Dad, EDWARD R. STEVENS, besides being a helicopter pilot, was also a B-17 pilot during WWII. My father is 93 y/o and spoke very little about his service and his experiences.

My Dad is a most humble man and like most WWII veterans, unwilling or unable to speak about their service. He would certainly never brag or complain.

We knew that my Dad had been awarded several medals for gallantry. But Dad never spoke about them. Only in the last few years has he begun to speak and share the experiences of his service with his children. Not to brag, but more a reliving of the events.

One event my Dad told us about amazed me and I began checking into it. My Dad's military record was destroyed in the Personnel Center fire in St. Louis, so researching was very difficult. But I was lucky enough to be able to start to make contact with children of some of the men in my Dad's crew. As my research progressed I came to realize that this one event, in particular, was not properly recognized and that my Dad's gallantry and flying skills had not been acknowledged.

I was lucky enough to locate the only other living member of my Dad's crew on this mission. His documentation was what I needed to make a request that Dad be properly recognized and awarded the Silver Star. It took 3 years and the help of my Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay, but on Monday of last week I was notified that my Dad had been awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action.

I have attached the citation. His children have always been proud of our Dad. We are proud of him for many reasons. I am very grateful that his gallantry and flying skills have finally been acknowledged.

Thank you for your interest!

Linda Stevens

US Army Nurse Corps Vietnam Era Veteran

41st Combat Support Hospital

Member American Legion Post 404