Posted 5 years ago
This is a WW1 Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) that was awarded to an Army pilot. The DSC is the second highest award for valor, behind the Medal of Honor.
This DSC is engraved to "W.J. Hoover" of the "27 Aero Squadron". The engraving is not official as these were originally presented without engraved names in WW1. It was jeweler done after presentation but its style is of the period.
LT Hoover was awarded the DSC for his actions on 2 JUL 1918 in battle with the Richthofen Circus (about 3 months after the Red Baron's death):
"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 First Lieutenant (Air Service) William J. Hoover, United States Army Air Service, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving with 27th Aero Squadron, 1st Pursuit Group, U.S. Army Air Service, A.E.F., near Verdilly, France, 2 July 1918. On the morning of July 2 First Lieutenant Hoover's flight patrol encountered the famous Richthofen circus. Lieutenant Hoover was simultaneously attacked by three of the enemy and cut off from his comrades. By skillfully maneuvering he avoided the effects of their concentrated fire and fearlessly attacked the three. Although his machine was seriously damaged, he killed one of the enemy pilots and destroyed his plane, drove down another, apparently out of control, and chased the third far into its own lines. He then continued the patrol until shortage of gasoline forced him to return."
LT Hoover was credited with a total of three aerial victories (2 for this action) during the war.