November 29, 2018

Profile: Hyman Goldberg

Major General Carl Spaatz wrote this summary of the action which earned Lt. Hyman Goldberg a Distinguished Service Cross:

“On April 6, 1943, 2nd Lt. Hyman Goldberg, while engaging in high altitude bombardment mission against enemy shipping, distinguished himself above and beyond the call of duty.

“Just prior to beginning the bombing run on the target, Lt. Goldberg’s B-17 was attacked by enemy fighters. During this attack, a 20mm cannon struck and exploded in Lt. Goldberg’s back, blowing his parachute and inflicting critical wounds with such violence as to throw him from his bombardiers’ seat to the floor of the aircraft. One hole four inches in diameter was ripped from the right lumbar region of his back, with two smaller wounds two inches in diameter adjacent. In addition, shell fragments pierced and lodged in the peritoneal cavity.

“Because of lacerated muscles, he was unable to move, but despite his acute pain, loss of vast quantities of blood, and the high altitude, Lt. Goldberg refused first aid offered by Lt. B. Aikens, a British officer who was present in the bombardier’s compartment as an observer. Lt. Goldberg demanded to be lifted back to his bombsight, at the same time appealing to Lt. Aikens to man the nose machine guns. Mindful only of his responsibility as lead bombardier for his element, he proceeded to synchronize his sights on the target, drop his bombs, report “Bombs Away,” and close the bomb bay doors. Throughout this time, he had to be held upright in his seat.

“His actions were not futile, since these and other bombs of the flight caused immense damage to the target. Furthermore, upon return to the base, the wounds had become so intensely painful that medical officers were unable to remove him from his seat at the bomb sight and had to administer an intravenous anesthetic before they could remove him to the ambulance.

“Throughout the whole of his action, Lt. Goldberg thought and acted with supreme devotion to his duty and responsibility and with no regard whatsoever for his own perilous position. He carried out a difficult task under extreme hazards in a manner of extraordinary heroism, which through his gallantry, endurance, courage and absolute devotion to duty, reflects the highest credit to himself and to the military.”

Hyman Goldberg was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his heroic and courageous actions.