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John Jerstad

Awarded the Medal of Honor

Born: January 5, 1907, Racine, Wisconsin
Died: August 1, 1943 (age 36), KIA over Ploiesti, Romania

John Jerstad - Trivia powered by ABEMajor John Louis Jerstad, United States Army Air Forces, was posthumously awarded the United States' highest military award, the Medal of Honor during World War II for his actions as a B-24 pilot during the raid on Ploieşti, Romania on August 1, 1943.

Jerstad-Agerholm Elementary School and Jerstad-Agerholm Middle School in Racine, Wisconsin are both partially named after John Louis Jerstad.

What do you know about Medal of Honor recipient Major John L. Jerstad? Try this Quick Medal of Honor Quiz.

1. When did Jerstad enlist as an aviation cadet at Milwaukee, Wisconsin?

  • January 12, 1941
  • July 12, 1941
  • December 12, 1941

2. He trained at Ontario, California., and Luke Field, Arizona.

  • True or False?

3. He was commissioned and served with the 98th and 93rd Bomb Groups at Barksdale Field, Louisiana. When was he commissioned?

  • Feb. 6, 1942
  • Mar. 6, 1942
  • Apr. 6, 1942

4. In October 1942, he went to Europe with the 93rd and flew with the 328th Bomb Squadron, as a captain. What was his bomber?

  • B-17
  • B-25
  • B-24

5. He was promoted to major in April 1943, and was assigned to the 2nd Bomb Wing headquarters a month later.

  • True or False?

6. When he took off on August 1, 1943, he had finished his tour of duty. He volunteered for the mission?

  • True or False?

7. On a daring low-level attack against enemy oil refineries and installations at Ploesti, Rumania. Approaching the target, his aircraft was hit by a large caliber antiaircraft shell, seriously damaged and set on fire. Ignoring the fact he was flying over terrain suitable for safe landing, he refused to jeopardize the mission by breaking up the lead formation and continued unswervingly to lead his group to the target upon which he dropped his bombs with devastating effect.

  • True or False?

8. Baker broke formation to avoid a mid-air collision with bombers from the lead group, now arriving in the target area from the opposite direction. He attempted to gain altitude so that his crew could escape by parachute, but despite his efforts, his bomber crashed and exploded, killing Baker and the other nine airmen aboard.

  • True or False?

9. When was Jerstad posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor?

  • Oct. 28, 1943
  • Nov. 28, 1943
  • Dec. 28, 1943

10. Where is John Jerstad buried?

  • Body lost or destroyed, remains never found
  • Wisconsin National Cemetery, Racine, Wisconsin
  • Ardennes American (ABMC) Cemetery and Memorial, Neuville-en-Condroz, Liege, Belgium
    Plot: Plot C Row 24 Grave 10

John Jerstad Answers

  1. July 12, 1941
  2. True
  3. Feb. 6, 1942
  4. B-24
  5. True
  6. True
  7. True
  8. True
  9. Oct. 28, 1943
  10. Angels on your pillowArdennes American (ABMC) Cemetery and Memorial, Neuville-en-Condroz, Liege, Belgium
    Plot: Plot C Row 24 Grave 10

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