Rank and organization:   Captain, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.
Birth:   2 November
1917, St. Paul, Minn.
Appointed from:   Minnesota.
Citation:   For extraordinary
heroism and conspicuous intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty as
Flight Officer, Marine Scout Bombing Squadron 241, during action against
enemy Japanese forces in the battle of Midway on 4 and 5 June 1942. When
his Squadron Commander was shot down during the initial attack upon an
enemy aircraft carrier, Capt. Fleming led the remainder of the division
with such fearless determination that he dived his own plane to the perilously
low altitude of 400 feet before releasing his bomb. Although his craft
was riddled by 179 hits in the blistering hail of fire that burst upon
him from Japanese fighter guns and antiaircraft batteries, he pulled out
with only 2 minor wounds inflicted upon himself. On the night of 4 June,
when the squadron commander lost his way and became separated from the
others, Capt. Fleming brought his own plane in for a safe landing at its
base despite hazardous weather conditions and total darkness. The following
day, after less than 4 hours' sleep, he led the second division of his
squadron in a coordinated glide-bombing and dive-bombing assault upon a
Japanese battleship. Undeterred by a fateful approach glide, during which
his ship was struck and set afire, he grimly pressed home his attack to
an altitude of 500 feet, released his bomb to score a near miss on the
stern of his target, then crashed to the sea in flames. His dauntless perseverance
and unyielding devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions
of the U.S. Naval Service.
This data was extracted from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, U.S. Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients: 1863-1973 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1973)