New York (Dec. 29)
Lt. Colonel Ben Sternberg has been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross – an award second in importance only to the Congressional Medal of Honor – for leading a successful fight against 200 German tanks during which he ignored all personal risk and exposed himself to severe machine gun, mortar and artillery fire in a treeless terrain, it was reported today by the Jewish Welfare Board.
The award citation praises the 29-year-old Jewish Lt. Colonel for “the indomitable courage and initiative” through which he “inspired his command to greater efforts and aided materially in the success of the mission.” Before joining the armed forces, Lt. Colonel Sternberg resided in Starke, Fla.
S/Sgt. Harry Brown, 21, of the Bronx, with fifty combat missions in the Mediterranean area to his credit, holds thirteen decorations including the Air Medal and twelve Oak Leaf Clusters, the Jewish Welfare Board reports. Now at AAF Redistribution Station No. 1 in Atlantic City, Sergeant Brown was a Flying Fortress ball turret gunner. On a raid over Sicily, his craft was one of a formation of nineteen Forts jumped by more than a hundred Nazi fighters. Sergeant Brown got one and altogether the American planes destroyed thirty-eight definitely and scored fourteen more “probable.” Three fortresses went down.
Staff Sgt. Sheldon Burstein, 21, of Elgin, Ill., is credited officially with the destruction of a Messerschmidt 210 in an air battle over North Africa, and he holds ten decorations including the Air Medal with nine Oak Leaf Clusters, another JWB report discloses. He has participated in fifty bombing missions over Italy, France, Sicily, Sardinia and North Africa.