The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
*SARNOSKI, JOSEPH R.
Rank and Organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army
Air Corps, 43rd Bomber Group, Place and Date: Over Buka Area, Solomon Islands, 16
June 1943. Entered Service at: Simpson, Pa. Born. 30 January 1915,
Simpson, Pa. G.O. No.: 85, 17 December 1943.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty. On
16 June 1943, 2d Lt. Sarnoski volunteered as bombardier of a crew on an important
photographic mapping mission covering the heavily defended Buka area, Solomon Islands.
When the mission was nearly completed, about 20 enemy fighters intercepted. At the nose
guns, 2d Lt. Sarnoski fought off the first attackers, making it possible for the pilot to
finish the plotted course. When a coordinated frontal attack by the enemy extensively
damaged his bomber, and seriously injured 5 of the crew, 2d Lt. Sarnoski, though wounded,
continued firing and shot down 2 enemy planes. A 20-millimeter shell which burst in the
nose of the bomber knocked him into the catwalk under the cockpit. With indomitable
fighting spirit, he crawled back to his post and kept on firing until he collapsed on his
guns. 2d Lt. Sarnoski by resolute defense of his aircraft at the price of his life, made
possible the completion of a vitally important mission.