Ohio Politics

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Effort underway to get Piqua pilot Medal of Honor

Tina Nazerian and Jessica Wehrman in the Washington Bureau are reporting that Columbus-area Reps. Democrat Joyce Beatty and Republican Steve Stivers are backing a measure to award a Medal of Honor to Major Dominic S. Gentile, the late World War II pilot from Piqua who downed “at least 30” German aircraft, making him one of the highest scoring fighter pilots in American history.”

Gentile, who enlisted in the Royal Air Force before America’s entry into the war, was killed at age 31 in a training crash in 1951.

Nicknamed the “Ace of Aces,” Gentile was the first American pilot to break Captain Eddie Rickenbacker’s record of shooting down 26 German aircraft in World War I. Rickenbacker, like Gentile, was from Ohio.

Gentile has two Distinguished Service Crosses, seven Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Silver Star, and the Air Medal.

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