Wilcox, Russell Stover, LT

Fallen
 
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Last Rank
Lieutenant
Last Primary NEC
6302-LDO Pilot
Last Rating/NEC Group
Limited Duty Officer
Primary Unit
1944-1944, 6302, USS Enterprise (CV-6)
Service Years
1940 - 1944
Lieutenant
Lieutenant

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Home State
Illinois
Illinois
Year of Birth
1918
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Sheila Rae Myers, HM3 to remember Wilcox, Russell Stover, LT.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Chicago, IL
Last Address
Skokie, IL

Casualty Date
Dec 15, 1944
 
Cause
Hostile, Died
Reason
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Location
Pacific
Conflict
World War II
Location of Interment
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial - Manila, Philippines
Wall/Plot Coordinates
H 2 135

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 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

LT Russell Stover was a pilot in Bombing Squadron Twenty (VB-20), attached to the U.S.S. Enterprise (CV-6). While conducting air operations against the enemy installation on Luzon, Philippine Islands, Lt Russell's plane came under attack from anti-aircraft fire. While withdrawing from the target area, his plane was hit by a 40-mm. shell which entered the pilot's cockpit from below and exploded in the plane. He received a large wound in his upper right leg which bled profusely and, in the opinion of the Air Group Medical Officer, suffered severe internal injury. After gaining some 8,000 feet of altitude and traveling approximately 70 miles Lieutenant Wilcox started a glide and ultimately made a water landing. ARM2 Walter Frierson managed to get the wounded pilot into a life raft, but the lieutenant died from his wounds before they could be picked up by a recovery team.
   
Comments/Citation

Service number: 0098756

Navy Cross
The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Russell Stover Wilcox (NSN: 0-98756), United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Dive Bomber in Bombing Squadron TWENTY (VB-20), attached to the U.S.S. ENTERPRISE (CV-6), during action against units of the Japanese Fleet in waters west of the Central Philippine Islands during the Battle for Leyte Gulf on 24 October 1944. Flying as wingman on a search and attack mission when an enemy task force was sighted and his division was assigned the Japanese battleship MUSASHI as a target, Lieutenant Wilcox defied the withering barrages of anti-aircraft fire to dive low over the hostile warship and release his bombs at perilously low altitude to score direct hits which started fires and contributed materially to the infliction of extensive damage on the Japanese vessel. His superb airmanship, inspiring courage and unwavering devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon Lieutenant Wilcox and the United States Naval Service.
General Orders: Commander 1st Carrier Task Force Pacific: Serial 035 (January 20, 1945)
Action Date: October 24, 1944
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant
Company: Bombing Squadron 20 (VB-20)
Division: U.S.S. Enterprise (CV-6)

Navy Cross
The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Russell Stover Wilcox (NSN: 0-98756), United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Bomber in Bombing Squadron TWENTY (VB-20), attached to the U.S.S. ENTERPRISE (CV-6). This squadron was assigned the mission of conducting air operations against the enemy installation on Luzon, Philippine Islands, while assigned to a Task Group operation under Commander, Second Carrier Task Force, Pacific Fleet. Lieutenant Wilcox was leading a section of bombers in an attack on Clark Field, Manila, Philippine Islands on 15 December 1944. In the face of intense anti-aircraft fire, he pressed home his attack, scoring direct hits on a small wooded area reported as concealing parked enemy aircraft. While withdrawing from the target area, his plane was hit by a 40-mm. shell which entered the pilot's cockpit from below and exploded in the plane. He received a large wound in his upper right leg which bled profusely and, in the opinion of the Air Group Medical Officer, suffered severe internal injury. He was observed by two accompanying fighter pilots to leave our formation. Assuming him to be in trouble and heading to sea, they flew alongside. They could see him slump in his seat from time to time, when the plane would go temporarily out of control. After gaining some 8,000 feet of altitude and traveling approximately 70 miles Lieutenant Wilcox started a glide and ultimately made a water landing. During this time his aircrewman (Frierson, Walter Duncan, 5561270, ARM2c, V-6, USNR) was unable to communicate with the pilot and assumed the radio to be out of commission. It was not until Frierson had launched his raft and went to the forward cockpit that he realized the situation. He succeeded in getting the pilot into the raft and administered first aid. By this time the bleeding had stopped, however and Lieutenant Wilcox was breathing with difficulty. He asserted his desire to save Frierson's life and then died, some 15 minutes before the arrival of a rescue plane which had been summoned by the fighter pilots.
Action Date: December 15, 1944
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant
Company: Bombing Squadron 20 (VB-20)
Division: U.S.S. Enterprise (CV-6)

Distinguished Flying Cross
The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Russell Stover Wilcox (NSN: 0-98756), United States Naval Reserve, for heroism and extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight against enemy forces on 10 and 12 October 1944. On each of these two occasions, he pressed home his dive bombing attack on an enemy cargo vessel at Okinawa Jima and at Formosa, in the face of intense anti-aircraft fire from enemy vessels and shore batteries. Both ships caught fire and sank. His skill and courage were at all times in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
General Orders: Commander 2d Carrier Task Force Pacific: Serial 0513 (December 20, 1944)
Action Date: October 10 & 12, 1944
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant
Company: Bombing Squadron 20 (VB-20)
Division: U.S.S. Enterprise (CV-6)


The information contained in this profile was compiled from various internet sources.
   
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 Duty Stations
USS Essex (CV-9)VB-20 Tough KittensUSS Enterprise (CV-6)
  1944-1944, 6302, USS Essex (CV-9)
  1944-1944, 6302, VB-20 Tough Kittens
  1944-1944, 6302, USS Enterprise (CV-6)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1944 Leyte Campaign (1944)/Battle of Leyte Gulf
  1944-1944 Asiatic-Pacific Specified Raids (1944)/Formosa Air Battle
  1944-1944 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Mariana and Palau Islands Campaign (1944)
  1944-1944 Western Caroline Islands Operation/Battle for Ulithi Atoll
  1944-1944 Western Caroline Islands Operation/Battle of Peleliu
  1944-1944 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Luzon Campaign (1944-45)
 Colleges Attended 
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  1938-1940, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
 Other News, Events and Photographs
 
  Jan 18, 1945, Tells How Pilot Flew Plane to Save Aircrewman1
  Mar 03, 1945, Skokie Pilot Gives Life to Save Comrade1
  Dec 15, 2017, General Photos
 Military Association Memberships
World War II FallenThe National Gold Star Family RegistryUnited States Navy Memorial WW II Memorial National Registry
  2017, World War II Fallen
  2017, The National Gold Star Family Registry
  2017, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
  2017, WW II Memorial National Registry
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