Johnson County

Francis L. Donahue





Special to The Gazette.
OXFORD—Aviation Chief Machinist’s Mate Francis L. Donahue, son of Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Donahue of Oxford, has been awarded the Air Medal by the Commander of the Fourth fleet of the U.S. Navy on behalf of President Roosevelt.

The citation was given for meritorious conduct and performance of duty at Panamirin field, Brazil, on June 16, 1943, when a serious fire developed in the engine of a transport aircraft.

“The blazing aircraft was a menacing threat not only to the personnel on board, but to the numerous combatant aircraft and other military establishments in the vicinity,” the citation reads.

“Francis L. Donahue, while serving as plane captain of a transport aircraft, found the right engine in flames shortly after the takeoff.  When fire extinguishing equipment proved ineffective, he quickly and skillfully, under the most trying conditions, assisted in getting the transport back on the field on one engine. This he did in a meritorious manner; otherwise, it could have resulted in the loss of the personnel on board and other combatant aircraft which were parked in marked quantity in the landing area.

“The courageous and skillful performance of duty displayed by Donahue under these hazardous conditions reflects great credit upon the naval service.”

Source: Cedar Rapids Gazette, July 20, 1943