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First Name: Gustav

Last Name: Kjosness

Birthplace: WA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: U.S. Army Air Forces (1941 - 1947)



Home of Record: Spokane, WA
Middle Name: Donald



Date of Birth: 10 September 1919

Date of Death: 08 June 1944

Rank: Second Lieutenant

Years Served:
Gustav Donald Kjosness

   
Engagements:
•  World War II (1941 - 1945)

Biography:

Gustav Donald Kjosness
Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Forces

In June 1944, Second Lieutenant Gustav Donald Kjosness was serving as Bombardier of a B-26 Marauder Bomber in the 572nd Bombardment Squadron, 391st Bombardment Group (Medium), Ninth Air Force.

On 6 and 8 June, 2LT Kjosness’ unit was in action against German forces on a bombing mission against enemy ground targets over the Cherbourg Peninsula, Normandy, France on D-Day and D-Day +2. Shortly after crossing the coast on 6 June, 2LT Kjosness was hit by a shell fragment and rendered unconscious. After regaining consciousness just before reaching the target, 2LT Kjosness assumed his post and dropped the bomb load with devastating effect. On 8 June, although he had not recovered from his wound, 2LT Kjosness asked to fly as bombardier on another extremely hazardous mission. At the moment the bombs were released on the target, 2LT Kjosness was hit and mortally wounded by a large shell fragment. When he heard the command to close the bomb bay doors, 2LT Kjosness knew that unless the doors were closed the aircraft would likely fall out of formation and become an easy target for German fighters. 2LT Kjosness then used the last of his strength to obey the pilot's orders and died with his mangled left hand still clutching the bomb bay lever. 2LT Kjosness’ courageous actions, extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty that day earned him, at the cost of his life, the U.S. Army's second highest award for valor, the Distinguished Service Cross.

Medals, Awards and Badges

Distinguished Service Cross
Purple Heart
Air Medal with Award Numeral 5
American Campaign Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with Bronze Star
World War II Victory Medal
Bombardier Badge

Distinguished Service Cross Citation

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Second Lieutenant (Air Corps) Gustav D. Kjosness (ASN: 0-671372), United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy 6 June and 8 June 1944. On 6 June 1944 Lieutenant Kjosness was serving as Bombardier of a B-26 Medium Bomber in the 572d Bombardment Squadron, 391st Bombardment Group (M), NINTH Air Force, on a mission over the Cherbourg Peninsula. Shortly after crossing the enemy coast Lieutenant Kjosness was hit and rendered unconscious by a shell fragment. Regaining consciousness just before reaching the target, he assumed his post and dropped the bomb load with devastating effect. Although he had not fully recovered from this wound, Lieutenant Kjosness on 8 June asked to fly as bombardier on another extremely hazardous mission. At the moment the bombs were released on the target he was hit and mortally wounded by a large shell fragment. Upon hearing the command to close the bomb bay doors, knowing that unless the doors were closed the airplane would probably fall out of formation and be a target for enemy fighters, he used the last of his fast ebbing strength to obey the pilot's orders, and died with his mangled left hand still clutching the bomb bay lever. The heroism and devotion to duty displayed by Lieutenant Kjosness was inspiring to his fellow fliers, reflecting the highest traditions of the Armed Forces of the United States.

General Orders: Headquarters, U.S. Strategic Forces in Europe, General Orders No. 43 (July 13, 1944)

Burial

Second Lieutenant Gustav Donald Kjosness is buried at the Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial in Coton, South Cambridgeshire District, Cambridgeshire, England, in Plot F, Row, 2 Grave 83.

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/56291389/gustav-donald-kjosness



Honoree ID: 58334   Created by: MHOH

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