September 4, 2014 - Douglas Ward, EAA 285865/Warbirds of America 596052, of Mondovi, Wisconsin, has regaled thousands of people over the years talking about his experiences as a ball turret gunner in a B-17 bomber during World War II. The 91-year-old flew 37 missions in the European theatre from April-September 1944 - many of those experiences described in the book, Turret Tales - From a WWII Ball Turret Gunner, by Judie Ohm based on Doug’s stories, entries from his journal, and wartime letters.
Last weekend during an annual fly-in held at Doug’s Log Cabin Airport (WS69) in Mondovi, Doug was presented with the French Legion of Honor - the highest medal of honor from the French government - for his courageous acts during the war. U.S. Representative Ron Kind made the presentation.
“The French government asked me to present on their behalf to Doug Ward,” Kind said. “It’s the highest honor that the French people can bestow on anyone whether it’s their veteran or any veteran,” adds Kind.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to wear this medal and I wear it in recognition of all my buddies that lost their lives over in Europe during World War II,” Doug said
Watch EAA’s Timeless Voices interview of Doug Ward.