b. 02/10/1918 Portland, Maine. d. 22/11/1952 Kunwha, North Korea.
DATE OF MOH ACTION:
Charles Loring Jr. was born on October 2, 1918 in Portland, Maine to Charles J. Loring Sr. and Irene Cronin Loring. He lived in the town throughout his early life, attending Cheverus High School, and graduating in 1937. He entered service in Portland at age 23.
After the US entry into World War II, Loring enlisted in the United States Army in March 1942, and as a private joined the Army Air Corps. By May 1942, he had been selected as an aviation cadet at the USAAC pre-flight school at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. There, Loring completed primary, basic and advanced flight training courses. After graduating, Loring was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army Reserve with a pilot rating.
In April 1944, Loring and the group moved to England to fly missions against Nazi German targets. The 36th Fighter Group flew out of RAF Kingsnorth in Kent, England flying reconnaissance, fighter escort and interdiction missions. The missions involved striking military strongpoints in northern Europe in preparation for Operation Overlord. Following the success of Overlord, Loring continued to fly air support missions for the remainder of the conflict. By December, he had flown 55 combat missions. He had been awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions under fire on June 12, 1944 that destroyed ten enemy armored vehicles in the area of Coutances, France while on a dive-bombing mission.
On December 24, 1944, Loring was flying a mission over Belgium when his P-47 was hit by flak artillery as he strafed ground targets. Loring was subsequently captured and spent six months as a German prisoner of war. Loring was liberated on May 5, 1945, three days before the end of the war on May 8, 1945.
After World War II, Loring remained in the US Army Air Corps. Promoted to captain, he served in a number of administrative roles in the post-war Air Corps, which became the United States Air Force in 1947. By the outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950, Loring was attached to Air University and was not immediately sent to Korea for combat duty. In July 1952, Loring transferred to the 36th Fighter-Bomber Squadron full-time, where he served as operations officer. In this role he returned to combat duty, this time as a jet aircraft fighter pilot operating the F-80 Shooting Star. Missions for this unit primarily concerned close air support, air strikes and interdiction missions supporting United Nations Command ground troops in the country. In this role, Loring's unit primarily fought North Korean and Chinese ground targets. By November 22, 1952, Loring had completed 50 combat missions.
Maj. Loring distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. While leading a flight of 4 F-80 type aircraft on a close support mission, Maj. Loring was briefed by a controller to dive-bomb enemy gun positions which were harassing friendly ground troops. After verifying the location of the target, Maj. Loring rolled into his dive bomb run. Throughout the run, extremely accurate ground fire was directed on his aircraft. Disregarding the accuracy and intensity of the ground fire, Maj. Loring aggressively continued to press the attack until his aircraft was hit. At approximately 4,000 feet, he deliberately altered his course and aimed his diving aircraft at active gun emplacements concentrated on a ridge northwest of the briefed target, turned his aircraft 45 degrees to the left, pulled up in a deliberate, controlled maneuver, and elected to sacrifice his life by diving his aircraft directly into the midst of the enemy emplacements. His selfless and heroic action completely destroyed the enemy gun emplacement and eliminated a dangerous threat to United Nations ground forces. Maj. Loring's noble spirit, superlative courage, and conspicuous self-sacrifice in inflicting maximum damage on the enemy exemplified valor of the highest degree and his actions were in keeping with the finest traditions of the U.S. Air Force.
BURIAL LOCATION: MISSING IN ACTION.
IMO AT ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY, ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA. Section MK-Grave 89
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