Broad Valley Orchard

Main menu:

Site search




Captain Arthur Allen Dunn – War Hero

Hello History Fans,
Well, I have finally tracked down the family secret that my mother mentioned to me, but was still too torn by grief to discuss it, even in 1999, 45 years after my father’s death.
For the last month I have been visiting the Gettysburg Library to use their micro-film reader to peruse the 600 page Unit History of the 21st Weather Squadron, of the 9th US Army Air Force. I find that I can translate perhaps one hundred pages, per visit, of miliatarese. To his credit, the officer who wrote the text of their unit history was a good writer, in spite of his orders to write a militarily correct document.
This week, on my fourth visit, I hit pay dirt! I read a description of an awards ceremony that took place in December, 1944 = sixty-five years ago. On October 8, 1944, a makeshift and over- loaded ferry capsized on the Chiers River, near Douzy, France.
Lt. Art Dunn, along with Staff Sergeant Ralph Upton, and Sergeant John Schobinger were out on weather patrol. in their K-53 Mobile Weather Van, probably stalking isobars. when they saw the ferry founder. They dived into the cold water, and rescued three French children.
For this act of courage, the CO of the 9th Air Force (possibly Brigadier General Thomas Moorman) awarded the Soldier’s Medal to all three. This is a prestigious award, the highest given by the Army for lifesaving in non-combat situations. In my own experience, it is equal to the Coast Guard Medal, which is a big deal!
Wow, 55 years after my father’s untimely death, I finally found out why my mother told me that he was a war hero. Thanks, Dad!
Thom Dunn

Related articles