Lieutenant Colonel James H. Howard, seen here in a 354th Fighter Group P-51B Mustang fighter depicting his aerial victories, was a prewar US Navy fighter pilot who flew with the Flying Tigers of the American Volunteer Group in 1941-42. He then joined the USAAF as a pilot in, and later commander of, the 356th Fighter Squadron. He was the only fighter pilot in the European Theater of Operations to be awarded the Medal of Honor for single-handedly defending B-17s of the 401st Bomb Group, northwest of Halberstadt, Germany on 11 January 1944. He became the Group’s second commander on February 12, 1944, following the loss of Col. Martin in combat over Germany. He served in the Air Force until retirement in 1966, and achieved the rank of brigadier general. (Courtesy US National Archives, via Mr. Daniel Carrizales)
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