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SFC Ken Logue-Deceased
Gentile, Dominic Salvatore (WW II Fighter Ace), MAJ.
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Home Town Piqua, Ohio
Last Address Not Specified
Date of Passing Jan 28, 1951
Location of Interment Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates Not Specified
Last Known Activity Major Dominic Salvatore "Don" Gentile (December 6, 1920 - January 28, 1951) was the WWII USAAF pilot who was the first to break Eddie Rickenbacher's WWI record of 26 downed aircraft.
At the time of his first DSC mission Captain Gentile was already an ACE with 6.33 victories. General Eisenhower personally presented the award for that mission remarking, "You seem to be a one-man air force." Exactly one month later Captain Gentile again shot down 3 enemy planes in one day, earning a second DSC. By the end of the war he was nearly a QUADRUPLE ACE with 19.83 victories to his credit. He was killed in the crash of a T-33 Shooting Star on January 28, 1951, near Andrews AFB, Maryland. Gentile Air Force Station in Kettering, Ohio, was named in his honor in 1962.
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Captain (Air Corps) Dominic "Don" S. Gentile (ASN: 0-885109), United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Pilot of a P-51 Fighter Airplane in the 336th Fighter Squadron, 4th Fighter Group, EIGHTH Air Force, in aerial combat against enemy forces on 8 March 1944, in the European Theater of Operations. On this date Captain Gentile, while leading a section of Fighter Aircraft on a bomber escort mission to targets in the vicinity of Berlin, Germany, saw a flight of bombers being attacked by approximately fifty enemy fighters. With only his wing man as support and without regard to the overwhelming odds against him, Captain Gentile immediately attacked the enemy formation and by extremely courageous flying and skillful gunnery destroyed three enemy planes and broke up the threat against the bombers. Continuing with his wing man, they destroyed three more enemy fighters. By this time the wing man had expended his ammunition and Captain Gentile's supply was very low. Despite this fact, they picked up a straggling bomber and escorted it to friendly territory. Captain Gentile's outstanding courage and determination to destroy the enemy on this occasion set an example of heroism which will be an inspiration to the Armed Forces of the United States.
General Orders: Headquarters, U.S. Strategic Forces in Europe, General Orders No. 36 (June 12, 1944)
(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Captain (Air Corps) Dominic "Don" S. Gentile (ASN: 0-885109), United States Army Air Forces, was awarded a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Pilot of a P-51 Fighter Airplane in the 336th Fighter Squadron, 4th Fighter Group, EIGHTH Air Force, in aerial combat against enemy forces on April 8, 1944. On this date Captain Gentile destroyed three enemy fighters and assisted in destruction of a fourth in a single engagement. Captain Gentile's unquestionable valor in aerial combat is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, the 8th Air Force, and the United States Army Air Forces.
General Orders: Headquarters, U.S. Strategic Forces in Europe, General Orders No. 23 (1944)
Other Memories In September 1942, the Eagle squadrons transferred to the USAAF, becoming the 4th Fighter Group. Gentile became a flight commander in September 1943, now flying the P-47 Thunderbolt. Having been Spitfire pilots, Gentile and the other pilots of the 4th were displeased when they transitioned to the heavy P-47. By late 1943 Group Commander Col. Don Blakeslee pushed for re-equipment with the lighter, more maneuverable, P-51 Mustang. Conversion to the P-51B at the end of February 1944 allowed Gentile to build a tally of 15.5 additional aircraft destroyed between March 3 and April 8, 1944. After downing 3 planes on April 8, he was the top scoring 8th Air Force ace when he crashed his personal P-51, named "Shangri La", on April 13, 1944 while stunting over the 4th FG's airfield at Debden for a group of assembled press reporters and movie cameras.