Major Charles Joseph Loring

Maj. Charles L. Loring Jr.

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A native son of Portland Maine, Maj. Charles Joseph Loring Jr. went to Europe in 1944 as a fighter pilot with the 36th Fighter Group's 22nd Squadron.  He completed 55 combat missions before he was shot down and made a prisoner of war. He went to Korea in May of 1952 with the 36th and 80th Squadrons, 8th Fighter Bomber Group. 

During a close air support mission on Nov. 22, 1952, Maj. Loring's flight was dive-bombing enemy gun positions. He was hit repeatedly by ground fire during his dive. Instead of withdrawing, Maj. Loring aimed his F-80 directly at the gun positions and deliberately crashed into them, destroying them upon impact. Loring Air Force Base, Maine, was subsequently named in his honor. 

Medal of Honor Citation

Major Charles J. Loring, Jr., United States Air Force, a member of the 80th Fighter-Bomber Squadron, 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty near Sniper Ridge, North Korea on 22 November 1952. While leading a flight of four F-80 type aircraft on a close-support mission, Major Loring was briefed by a controller to dive-bomb enemy gun positions which were harassing friendly ground troops. After verifying the location of the target, Major Loring rolled into his dive bomb run. Throughout the run, extremely accurate ground fire was directed on his aircraft. Disregarding the accuracy and intensity of the ground fire, Major Loring aggressively continued to press the attack until his aircraft was hit. At approximately 4,000 feet, he deliberately altered his course and aimed his diving aircraft at active gun emplacements concentrated on a ridge northwest of the briefed target, turned his aircraft 45 degrees to the left, pulled up in a deliberate, controlled maneuver, and elected to sacrifice his life by diving his aircraft directly into the midst of the enemy emplacements. His selfless and heroic action completely destroyed the enemy gun emplacement and eliminated a dangerous threat to United Nations ground forces. Major Loring's noble spirit, superlative courage, and conspicuous self-sacrifice in inflicting maximum damage on the enemy exemplified valor of the highest degree and his actions were in keeping with the finest traditions of the U.S. Air Force.

Hall of Valor from Military Times (submitted by Larry Borders)

Major Charles J. Loring - November 1952
(Contributed by Larry Borders)