Rank and organization:   Major, U.S. Army Air Corps, 9th Air Force.
Place and Date:
Ploesti Raid, Rumania, 1 August 1943.
Entered service at:   Racine,
Birth:   12 February 1918, Racine, Wis.
G.O. No.: 72, 28 October 1943.
Citation:   For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the
call of duty. On 1 August 1943, he served as pilot of the lead aircraft
in his group in a daring low-level attack against enemy oil refineries
and installations at Ploesti, Rumania. Although he had completed more than
his share of missions and was no longer connected with this group, so high
was his conception of duty that he volunteered to lead the formation in
the correct belief that his participation would contribute materially to
success in this attack. Maj. Jerstad led the formation into attack with
full realization of the extreme hazards involved and despite withering
fire from heavy and light antiaircraft guns. Three miles from the target
his airplane was hit, badly damaged, and set on fire. Ignoring the fact
that he was flying over a field suitable for a forced landing, he kept
on the course. After the bombs of his aircraft were released on the target,
the fire in his ship became so intense as to make further progress impossible
and he crashed into the target area. By his voluntary acceptance of a mission
he knew was extremely hazardous, and his assumption of an intrepid course
of action at the risk of life over and above the call of duty, Maj. Jerstad
set an example of heroism which will be an inspiration to the U.S. Armed
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)