Rank and organization:   Captain, U.S. Army Air Corps, Heavy Bombardment Squadron.
Place and date:   Near Rabaul, New Britain, 6-7 August 1942.
Entered service at:
Birth:   Plymouth, N.H.
G.O. No.: 59, 4 November 1942.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty
in action with the enemy on 6-7 August 1942. When 1 engine of the bombardment
airplane of which he was pilot failed during a bombing mission over New Guinea,
Capt. Pease was forced to return to a base in Australia. Knowing that all available
airplanes of his group were to participate the next day in an attack on an enemy-held
airdrome near Rabaul, New Britain, although he was not scheduled to take part
in this mission, Capt. Pease selected the most serviceable airplane at this
base and prepared it for combat, knowing that it had been found and declared
unserviceable for combat missions. With the members of his combat crew, who
volunteered to accompany him, he rejoined his squadron at Port Moresby, New
Guinea, at 1 a.m. on 7 August, after having flown almost continuously since
early the preceding morning. With only 3 hours' rest, he took off with his squadron
for the attack. Throughout the long flight to Rabaul, New Britain, he managed
by skillful flying of his unserviceable airplane to maintain his position in
the group. When the formation was intercepted by about 30 enemy fighter airplanes
before reaching the target, Capt. Pease, on the wing which bore the brunt of
the hostile attack, by gallant action and the accurate shooting by his crew,
succeeded in destroying several Zeros before dropping his bombs on the hostile
base as planned, this in spite of continuous enemy attacks. The fight with the
enemy pursuit lasted 25 minutes until the group dived into cloud cover. After
leaving the target, Capt. Pease's aircraft fell behind the balance of the group
due to unknown difficulties as a result of the combat, and was unable to reach
this cover before the enemy pursuit succeeded in igniting 1 of his bomb bay
tanks. He was seen to drop the flaming tank. It is believed that Capt. Pease's
airplane and crew were subsequently shot down in flames, as they did not return
to their base. In voluntarily performing this mission Capt. Pease contributed
materially to the success of the group, and displayed high devotion to duty,
valor, and complete contempt for personal danger. His undaunted bravery has
been a great inspiration to the officers and men of his unit.
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)