Young Jewish Captain Holds Eleven Decorations for Daring Raids on Enemy

Capt. Edward Rothkrug, 21, of Brooklyn, a participant in the famous American raid on the Ploesti oil fields of Rumania, is one of the most frequently-decorated Jewish fliers in the American Air Corps, the Jewish Welfare Board reported today. He holds the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Silver Star, the Air Medal and eight Oak Leaf Clusters.

Now back in the United States after 300 hours of combat flying, Captain Rothkrug has been navigating a Flying Fortress in the Mediterranean area for the past nine months. He had already been grounded preparatory to being shipped home, when he heard of the plans to bomb Ploesti and volunteered for that vital mission.

On his way home Captain Rothkrug visited Palestine and Egypt. He has been in the Air Corps three years, enlisting right after his graduation from high school, and was sent overseas immediately after receiving his navigator’s wings, the youngest officer in his squadron. On one mission his plane was shot up so thoroughly it had to make a forced landing on bomb-ridden Malta. He saw service with the British Eighth Army and helped drive Rommel from El Alamein to Tripoli.

Another Jewish flyer, Lt. Charles Lazin, 24, of Lebanon, Pa., one of the first pilots to land troops in Sicily from an Army Air Transport, has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, and an Oak Leaf Cluster, the JWB reveals. With other members of his Troop Carrier Command, Lt. Lazin was lauded by Lt. Gen. Speatz for “a brilliant job” in the Sicilian landing, depositing hundreds of paratroopers in the same spot under extremely hazardous conditions and without the loss of a single transport.

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