AIR COMMANDO 2 VanBoven, Paul Wesley

John Robertson

Staff member

Paul Wesley

  • UNIT
3 Air Rescue Squadron

  • RANK
First Lieutenant


Silver Star

North Korea 1950

from California
born 29.4.1923
bomber group in WW2 (2Lt)
POW 18.4.1944 ETO
Stalag Luft 3,Sagan
helicopter pilot
retired as Major
died 26.12.2003
Arlington National Cemetery,Virginia Section 66 Site 2773-2
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to First Lieutenant Paul W. Van Boven, United States Air Force, for gallantry in action against the enemy on 4 September 1950 while he was performing duty in Korea as a member of the THIRD Rescue Squadron. Although fully aware of the dangers involved, Lieutenant Van Boven departed in an unarmed helicopter to rescue a pilot who had bailed out of a damaged aircraft in enemy territory. Demonstrating remarkable courage, Lieutenant Van Boven flew his helicopter several miles behind enemy lines and exposed himself to intense ground fire to accomplish his mission. He located the downed officer in an open rice paddy surrounded by attacking enemy forces, but unfavorable ground conditions did not permit a landing. Despite continuous enemy fire, Lieutenant Van Boven maneuvered the helicopter close to the ground until the rescue was completed. In performing this heroic deed, Lieutenant Van Boven voluntarily risked his life to save an American pilot. His valorous action was in keeping with the highest traditions of the service and reflected great credit upon himself, the Far East Air Forces, and the United States Air Force.​
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