Rank and organization:   Colonel, U.S. Army Air Corps.
Place and Date:
Near Wewak, New Guinea, 11 October 1943.
Entered service at:   Dallas, Tex.
Birth:   Wichita Falls, Tex.
G.O. No.: 3, 6 January 1944.
Citation:   For conspicuous
gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with
the enemy, Col. Kearby volunteered to lead a flight of 4 fighters to reconnoiter
the strongly defended enemy base at Wewak. Having observed enemy installations
and reinforcements at 4 airfields, and secured important tactical information,
he saw an enemy fighter below him, made a diving attack and shot it down
in flames. The small formation then sighted approximately 12 enemy bombers
accompanied by 36 fighters. Although his mission had been completed, his
fuel was running low, and the numerical odds were 12 to 1, he gave the
signal to attack. Diving into the midst of the enemy airplanes he shot
down 3 in quick succession. Observing 1 of his comrades with 2 enemy fighters
in pursuit, he destroyed both enemy aircraft. The enemy broke off in large
numbers to make a multiple attack on his airplane but despite his peril
he made one more pass before seeking cloud protection. Coming into the
clear, he called his flight together and led them to a friendly base. Col.
Kearby brought down 6 enemy aircraft in this action, undertaken with superb
daring after his mission was completed.
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)