Charles Loring: Maine’s War Hero and Medal of Honor Pilot [VIDEO + PHOTOS]
Did you know Major Charles Loring flew his jet into an enemy position in Korea and received the Medal of Honor. Also, did you know he was a POW in World War II? Here's his story.
This painting depicts Loring flying into the enemy position in Kunwha, Korea. Below, read the details of his actions.
He saved many lives and Loring's Medal of Honor story is heroic. Here's part of his citation:
Maj. 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."
In the video below, Loring is honored for his bravery and there's classic footage of the F-80 Shooting Star like the one he flew in Korea.
Major Charles J. Loring Jr. was born in Portland, Maine, 1918. He joined the army in '42 and was flying combat missions over Europe by 1944. In Korea, he flew with the U.S. Air Force 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing until he was killed in action on November 22nd, 1952.
Below, you can read his full Medal of Honor citation, plus many pictures of his service in both wars.
After this brave act, Limestone Air Force Base in Maine was renamed, Loring Air Force Base in 1952. In 1994, the base was closed.
Another picture below of the Major in Korea with the 80th Fighter-Bomber Squadron.
Before Korea, Major Loring was a pilot with the 36th Fighter Group in WW II. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for destroying ten armored vehicles.
Loring was shot down over Belgium during a strafing run in his P-47 Thunderbolt and became a POW on Christmas Eve, 1944. He was released in June, '45 at the end of the war.
Here's his memorial in Portland overlooking Back Bay.