Courier Ottumwa, Iowa
MAR ' : ¦'-
War Hero Here Friday On WAC Recruit Mission
Russell I. Huffman, warrant officer junior grade and one of the outstanding heroes of this war. will be in Ottumwa Friday to assist the WAC recruiting staff.
Huffman will be accompanied by Sgt. Ben Kusner, according to S-Sgt. Bob Jones, in charge of the local office in the American Legion building.
Huffman, who visited Ottumwa once before, is one of those heroes whose adventures read like the page out of an Orsen Welles thriller. But seeing is believing, and after glimpsing the triple row of decorations he wears, one can see at a glance that this man has seen action.
He wears four presidential citations for bravery over the Pacific, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Purple Heart, and Silver Star with three Oak Leaf Clusters. He wears ribbons for the battles of Coral Sea, Java, Philippines and Macassar Straits. As an aerial gunner he also has seen action in the Solomons, on Guadalcanal, and in New Guinea. He was responsible for shooting down 19 Jap Zeros, and was a member of the crew that helped evacuate General MacArthur arid his family by plane to Australia.
In all. Huffman has been on 122 missions and has flown 800 combat hours in his 17 months of overseas service. Three times he bailed out of a plane and once as a result he spent nine days and eight nights in the China sea, with just a "Mae West" life preserver strapped to him. __^^^^^^
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