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William J. "Dixie" Sloan

Date of birth: 1-Jan-21
Date of death: 30-Jan-99
Burial location: Arlington, VA
Place of Birth: Virginia, Richmond
Home of record: Richmond Virginia

During World War II "Dixie" Sloan became a DOUBLE ACE with a total of 12 victories. He was originally submitted and approved for award of the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions on this mission, but the award was never acted upon. In 1968 Sloan's son contacted General Tooey Spaatz who had originally approved the DSC, and the former Air Force Commander requested that the record be corrected. In February 1969 Sloan was awarded the Air Force Cross in lieu of the DSC he had never received, making his actions on July 5, 1943, the first in history to merit award of the Air Force Cross. He retired as an Air Force Colonel on September 30, 1963.

AWARDS AND CITATIONS

Air Force Cross

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Title 10, Section 8742, United States Code, takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Lieutenant Colonel (Air Corps), [then First Lieutenant William J. "Dixie" Sloan (ASN: 0-496090), United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an armed enemy of the United States as Pilot of a P-38 aircraft in the 96th Fighter Squadron, 82d Fighter Group, TWELFTH Air Force, in the North African Theater of Operations on 5 July 1943. On that date, Colonel Sloan led a flight of fighter aircraft escorting thirty-six B-25 bombers in an attack on Gerbini Airdrome. The formation encountered intense anti-aircraft fire in the target area and was attacked by ten enemy fighters. Colonel Sloan shot down two of the enemy fighters and was conspicuous in driving the remaining hostile fighters away from the bombers, all of which returned safely. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, Colonel Sloan reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: 5-Jul-43

Service: Army Air Forces

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Company: 96th Fighter Squadron

Regiment: 82d Fighter Group

Division: 12th Air Force

Distinguished Flying Cross

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to First Lieutenant (Air Corps) William J. "Dixie" Sloan (ASN: 0-496090), United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight in the North African Theater of Operations as pilot of P-38 type aircraft. On 5 July 1943, Lieutenant Sloan led a flight in escorting thirty-six B-25's over Gerbini Airdrome. Ten enemy fighters attacked in the target area and our formation encountered intense heavy flak. Lieutenant Sloan shot down a ME-109 and a RC-2001, and was conspicuous in driving the hostile aircraft away from the bombers, all of which returned safely. Lieutenant Sloan has destroyed twelve enemy aircraft and has damaged six others. His courage, leadership, and outstanding skill in combat throughout his long service have reflected great credit on himself and the Armed Forces of the United States.

General Orders: Headquarters, Northwest African Air Forces, General Orders No. 159 (August 8, 1943)

Action Date: July 5, 1943

Service: Army Air Forces

Rank: First Lieutenant

Company: 96th Fighter Squadron

Regiment: 82d Fighter Group

Division: 12th Air Force