Named WW2 KIA Air Medal – Strauss

Poignant Named WW2 KIA Air Medal (George F. Strauss). Posthumous government hand engraved with name “S.SGT./GEORGE F./STRAUSS/A. C.“. Air Medal is slot brooch. Includes case.

*Artifact(s) come(s) with a packet of printed research paperwork related to George F. Strauss – including (where available) subject’s general vital statistics/subject’s military records/additional insights into subject’s military service. [Please note that this research was performed exclusively by/for Magi Militaria utilizing subscription-based archives, database resources, and other various internet searchable sources – included research may contain records from U.S. government archives, but the information furnished in this packet was not produced via NARA/NPRC information request.]

According to our research, Technical Sergeant George Frederick Strauss (ASN: 33553900), a native of Maryland, served as an Aerial Engineer with the 868th Bombardment Squadron, 43rd Bombardment Group, 13th Air Force during WW2. Strauss’ documented date of death is January 14, 1945, and period newspaper articles state that he was killed in action on a 13th Air Force bomber – along with the entire crew of the bomber he was on – during his 23rd mission. One specific article mentions that he was killed in a plane crash on or around Pitu Airfield on the island of Morotai in the South Pacific.

Extensive research reveals that only one plane from the 13th Air Force is accounted as being lost on that date, in that exact location (B-24J-85-CO “Lady June” – serial number 42-100271). Per the mission history, “Lady June” took off from Pitu Airfield (Morotai Island) on a night reconnaissance mission and crashed into the sea – resulting in the loss of her entire crew.
Unfortunately, the crash report for the January 14, 1945 loss of the “Lady June” has either been destroyed or lost, so there is no way to definitively confirm that Strauss was on this specific plane when it was lost with all hands. Available information does not have him as a member of the assigned crew at the time, but this information is ad hoc at best, and given the preponderance of the evidence at hand, we feel confident that this was the flight on which George F. Strauss gave the last full measure of devotion to his country.