Wilfred Herbert Sohn (my Grandfather) enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1939 and was stationed at Nichols Field in the Philippines when war broke out. He was a member of the infamous Bataan Death March. He made his escape back to Mindanao Island only to be recaptured when his plane was shot down at sea. At the time of the cessation of hostilities, his father was notified of his hospitalization at Mukden Manchuria (after four years in prison camp) and was released in 1945.
Sohn was cited for a Silver Star in General Orders 166 issued by General MacArthur on May 1st, 1946, and reads as follows:
Staff Sargeant Wilfred H. Sohn, Air Corps, United States Army. For gallantry in action in the Southwest Pacific Area, on 8 December 1941.
When two flights of twin engined enemy bombers attacked Clark Field, Luzon, Philippine Islands, Sgt. Sohn, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, 24th Pursuit Group, and two comrades, took cover in a hangar. One of the soldiers was struck in the back with a fragment. Sgt. Sohn removed the missile. Then, noticing a fire in some mail bags, swiftly extinguished the flames. When bombs from the second hostile flight began to explode, he dashed to a bomb shelter and drew in another comrade who had been hit in the back and legs by flying fragments. While the attack continued in unabated fury, he proceeded to his quarters and obtained sheets which he could bandage the wounds of the stricken soldier, and although he was knocked down by a concussion of a bomb blast, he made his way back to the shelter, where he applied a tourniquet and bandaged the wounds and then carried the wounded man to cover.
Moving to a nearby machine gun pit, he found three wounded men, whom he placed in a staff car with the aid of another comrade. He applied a tourniquet on the wound of one of the casualties, and directed his assistant to close all windows, and then, while an enemy aircraft bombed and machine gunned the vehicle, he drove through a section of the road which was enveloped by flames from burning gasoline. Emerging from the holocaust, the car was again bombed and strafed. Sohn ran across a field, obtained another car, and returned with it, although again subjected to attack by hostile aircraft. The wounded were transferred to the second vehicle, which Sgt. Sohn drove under repeated attack to the post hospital.
There, while the furious assault continued, he assisted in unloading the casualties for treatment. Through his sustained gallantry and concern for the welfare of his comrades with complete disregard for his own safety, Sgt. Sohn upheld the finest traditions of the American Soldier.