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Distinguished Service Cross


The Distinguished Service Cross has been awarded posthumously to 2nd Lt. Malcolm M. Knickerbocker for gallantry in action at Maloelap, 25 January 1944.


The citation is as follows:


"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty while serving as Co-Pilot of a medium type bombardment aircraft in a low level strike mission against a strongly fortified enemy held island in the Central Pacific Area, 25 January 2944.  After leaving the target, having successfully strafed the assigned areas, and while under heavy fire from enemy fighters, Lieutenant Knickerbocker, while performing his duties, was hit in the right leg by a 20mm explosive shell.  The shell exploded upon contact with the leg, and amputated it.  Due to the cramped quarters, he could not be removed from the seat – neither could a tourniquet be applied.  First aid, morphine, and blood plasma were administered.  Through all of this, enemy fighters continued to attack.  Even though Lieutenant Knickerbocker suffered untold pain, he did not lose consciousness, and continued to assist the pilot to maneuver through evasive action, holding the power settings, and propeller controls.  All this with one leg gone and great loss of blood.  Upon arrival at the nearest friendly base, he assisted the pilot in preparing for landing.  As the plane turned into the final approach to the field, Lieutenant Knickerbocker died.  His example, his ability, leadership, resourcefulness, persistence, and unswerving devotion to duty, were all in the highest traditions of the Army Air Forces of the United States."