The Awards of Captain Mitchell - KIA
The Awards of Captain Mitchell - KIA - Distinguished Flying Cross (bronze, engraved "ANTHONY B. MITCHELL" on the reverse, 43.5 mm); Air Medal (bronze, engraved "ANTHONY B. MITCHELL" on the reverse, 41 mm, bronze "2" on the ribbon); Purple Heart (bronze and enamels, engraved "ANTHONY B. MITCHELL" on the reverse, 35.6 mm x 44.3 mm); Army Good Conduct Medal (bronze, engraved "ANTHONY B. MITCHELL" on the reverse, 32.7 mm); European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal (bronze, 33 mm, silver star on the ribbon); World War II Victory Medal (bronze, 36.7 mm); American Defense Service Medal (bronze, 32.6 mm); and American Campaign Medal (bronze, 31.8 mm). Very crisp detail, all are ribboned with brooch pinbacks, extremely fine. Accompanied by three Ribbon Bars (Distinguished Flying Cross, 9.8 mm x 36 mm, pinback; Air Medal, 10 mm x 35.7 mm with bronze oakleaf cluster, pinback; Purple Heart, 10.8 mm x 36 mm, pinback); Army Air Forces Pilot Badge (sterling silver, maker marked "LGB" (L.G. Balfour Company) and marked "STERLING" on the reverse, 20.6 mm x 76 mm, pinback, broken clasp); Army Air Forces Pilot Collar Badge (sterling silver, marked "STERLING" on the reverse, 10 mm x 35.4 mm, missing pinback); two Captain's Insignia (sterling silver, 19 mm x 22.6 mm and 26.6 mm x 26.6 mm, pinbacks); two First Lieutenant's Insignia (sterling silver, one maker marked "AMICO" and marked "STERLING" on the reverse, 10.3 mm x 26 mm, pinback; the other maker marked with an "F" inside a circle overlaying an "X", 9.6 mm x 25.5 mm, pinback); Dog Tag (aluminum, stamped "A.B. MITCHELL 0-659391 T41-42 0 S.J. MITCHELL 49 ACHESON WASH. PA. P", 28.4 mm x 50.7 mm); Purple Heart Award Document (named to "Captain Anthony B. Mitchell, A.S.No. 0-659391" for Military Merit and for Wounds Received in Action "resulting in his death September 18, 1944", signed by Major General, The Adjutant General, printed signature of Henry L. Stimson, Secretary of War, War Office emboss stamped, 251 mm x 304 mm, light staining); Studio Portrait of Mitchell in Uniform Photograph (sepia-toned, stamped "Portrait by Wallace Studios, San Angelo, Texas" on the reverse, 202 mm x 261 mm); Photograph of Mitchell in Uniform (black and white, 75 mm x 101 mm); Two Wedding Photographs (reproductions, black and white: bride and groom, 101 mm x 146 mm; church procession, 101 mm x 152 mm); The Mighty Eighth, Savanna, Georgia Medal (copper, oval, 19 mm x 34.5 mm); Gold Star Lapel Pin (two-piece construction, gilt and enamels, issued to immediate family members of service members killed in combat, 15 mm, pinback); Gold Star Stickpin (gold and white paint on metal, maker marked "DAVID C. COOK PUBLISHING CO. ELGIN NEW YORK BOSTON" on the reverse, 16.8 mm, on 19.5 stickpin); Army Air Forces Insignia Patch (four-colour embroidery, 67 mm); 8th Army Air Force Insignia Patch (four-colour embroidery, 63 mm); photocopy of a Newspaper Article (from The Youngstown Daily Vindicator, dated 1946); Book: Britain's Homage To 28,000 American Dead (gold emboss stamped "IN MEMORY OF Capt. A.B. Mitchell, U.S.A.A.F." on the front cover, 208 mm x 287 mm x 15.5 mm; accompanied by letter of introduction with "The Times, London" masthead, dated February, 1953, addressed to Mr. Osborne Mitchell, Poland, Ohio, U.S.A., from John Aster, Chairman); and Washington and Jefferson College 1946 Yearbook "The Pandora" (Washington, Pennsylvania, full page dedication with black and white photograph of "Capt. A. Baird Mitchell '41, ARMY AIR CORPS, September 18, 1944", 202 mm x 273 mm x 12.5 mm). Footnote: United States Army Air Force Captain Anthony Baird Mitchell was born to Mr. and Mrs. Osborne Mitchell of Poland, Ohio. Mitchell enlisted with the USAAF in September 1941, then sent to overseas for service in the European theatre in June 1944. He was placed with 854th Bomb Squadron, 491st Bomb Group, 8th Air Force, Heavy, based in North Pickenham, Norfolk, England. Captain Mitchell was the Co-Pilot in a crew of ten, aboard a Consolidated B-24J-150-CO Liberator, piloted by Captain James K. Hunter on an operation to Eindhoven, Holland on Monday, September 18, 1944, when their plane crashed northeast of Udenhout, Holland. The aircraft was badly hit in the right wing and the pilot, Captain Hunter decided to belly her into a field, but lost the no. 3 engine at an altitude of fifty feet, causing the right wing to dip low enough to touch the ground. Captain Hunter managed to pull the plane back into the air after hitting the ground, only for it to crash into some trees and farm buildings. (The Opening Photo is an actual photograph of his plane crashing) Nine of the ten men were killed (Pilot: Capt. James K. Hunter. 0-799024., Co-Pilot: Capt. Anthony B. Mitchell. 0-659391., Navigator: 1st Lt. Harry B. Parker. 0-694701., Bombardier: 1st Lt. John R. Granat. 0-754955., Nose Turret Gunner: 1st Lt. William H. Byrne. 0-814244., Engineer/Top Turret Gunner: T/Sgt. Cecil E. Hutson. 18127645, Radio Operator: T/Sgt. Barto J. Montalbano. 32692213., Right Waist Gunner: S/Sgt. James L. Evers. 34588582. and Drop Master: P.F.C. George E. Parrish. Drop Master. 34664935). All the aircraft on this mission carried a “drop master” to supervise the dropping of the supplies and this is how P.F.C. Parrish made it on the aircraft. The tenth member of the crew, Left Waist Gunner: S/Sgt. Frank DiPalma survived the crash and was found walking away from the wreckage by some Franciscan Monks and was hidden in the Huize Assisi. Father Vinkenburg and three Dutch doctors treated his severe burns and kept him hidden till the British liberated the town. In an ironic twist of fate, the normal pilot, 1st Lt. Charles Griffin had finished his tour of missions and wasn’t allowed to go on this one. Since there was a real competition to be included on this mission Captain Mitchell and a Captain Shy flipped a coin to see who got to fly with Captain Hunter, and Captain Mitchell “won”. The crew represented different states and were buried in various locations, receiving a variety of awards, as follows: Capt. James K. Hunter. Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands. Plot D, Row 21, Grave 7. Entered the service from Minnesota. Awards: Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart; Capt. Anthony B. Mitchell. Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands. Plot O, Row 8, Grave 6. Entered the service from Ohio. Awards: Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart; 1st Lt. Harry B. Parker. Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands. Plot L, Row 2, Grave 22. Entered the service from Oregon. Awards: Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart, French – Croix De Guerre with Silver Star; 1st Lt. John R. Granat. Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands. Plot I, Row 11, Grave 2. Entered the service from Oregon. Awards: Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medals with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart; 1st Lt. William H. Byrne. Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands. Plot H, Row 14, Grave 22. Entered the service from New York. Awards: Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters; T/Sgt. Cecil E. Hutson. Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands. Plot O, Row 15, Grave 8. Entered the service from Texas. Awards: Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart; T/Sgt. Barto J. Montalbano was returned to the USA at the request of his family and is buried in Long Island National Cemetery, Farmingdale, Long Island, New York; S/Sgt. James L. Evers was returned to the USA at the request of his family and is buried in a cemetery in Alabama; and P.F.C. George E. Parrish was returned to the USA at the request of his family and is buried in a cemetery in North Carolina. In an article in The Youngstown Daily Vindicator, dated September 16, 1946, it describes Mitchell's life, one he lived to the fullest. Datelined Poland, Ohio: More than 500 residents of this village Sunday paid tribute to one of its war heroes at ceremonies dedicating the high school stadium in honor of Capt. Anthony Baird Mitchell, an army air pilot who lost his life over Holland. He was a son of Attorney and Mrs. Osborne Mitchell. Named Baird Mitchell Field, the stadium will honor the memory of the young man whose record athletic achievements during his high school days still stand in Poland athletic annals. Attorney Franklin B. Powers, president of the board of education, in his dedication address said, "We have attempted by the use of bronze and granite to make permanent our memorial to Baird Mitchell. We pay tribute to his selfless courage, his high character and his unique place in the hearts of everyone in this community." He traced the life of Mitchell as "a child at home, a pupil in Poland Union School, a student in Seminary High School, with no conscious thought of any distinction between himself and his fellow students. He was a leader, not a follower, in any activity in which he was really interested. He played, studied, played hookey, took part in Halloween pranks, " Powers added. Powers recalled that in 1937 an invitational 14-team track meet marked the opening of this field. "Poland won by a generous margin, with Baird Mitchell the greatest single point winner. His record time for the mile has never been equaled on this track. He was a clean, square, honorable competitor, liked and respected by all with whom he came in contact." Baird enlisted in the army air forces in September, 1941, going overseas in June, 1944, as a B-24 pilot assigned to the Eighth Air Force. Stationed in England, he flew on many raids over Holland, Belgium and Germany. "He would be the last to claim that he did any more that his fellow pilots in the hazerdous life," Attorney Powers said. He continued, "Baird volunteered not once but three times. The third flight was his last. He did not return!" Captain Mitchell received the Distinguished Flying Cross posthumously. The army citation said in part: "Captain Mitchell was seen to have been shot down and his aircraft explode after he had dropped badly needed supplies to the airborne forces in Holland. The superior airmanship and inspiring leadership demonstrated by Captain Mitchell on these many occasions reflect the highest credit upon himself and the armed forces of the United States." The three other members of the Poland relay team which won the Ohio Class "B" championship at the state meet in 1937 unveiled the memorial plaque. They are Robert M. Barton, Jack Johnston, and Franklin I. Powers, all fomer AAF officers. Captain Mitchell's widow attended the ceremonies with her parents, Brig. Gen.and Mrs. John Aiken of Washington, Pa. Rev. Frank O. Leonard, pastor of Presbyterian Church gave his invocation, Felix Borowski, adoration, and Dr. Bruce T. Riley, paster of Memorial Methodist Church, benediction. Principal G.M. Barton was master of ceremonies and the high school band, under the direction of J.F. Raz, furnished the music.