August 03, 2005

CRAPO TO PRESENT DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS TO IDAHO FALLS MAN

Sterling Jensen recognized for heroic efforts, nearly 60 years later

Washington, DC â?? Idaho Senator Mike Crapo will present the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), one of the highest military medals, to Idaho Falls native Sterling Jensen on Thursday morning. Jensen is being honored for his heroic actions during World War II. In February 1945, Jensen expertly landed a B-17 bomber in England after it lost power to three engines. There were nine individuals on board; he is credited with saving all nine lives. â??This award is long overdue and I am pleased to have assisted Sterling in receiving this recognition,â?? Crapo said. â??His circumstance demonstrates clearly that heroes clearly rise to the occasion. The testimony of his former crew mates leaves no doubt that Sterling demonstrated courage and skill. While it has taken some time to gather the necessary testimony and evidence, it is an honor to recognize him and present this award publicly.â?? Jensen enlisted in the Army Air Corps in September 1942 as an aviation cadet and was called up in February 1943. He was originally assigned to fly B-24s in the Pacific, but due to a shortage of U.S. crews in England, he was shipped there in November 1944. He flew 35 missions during his tenure in the Air Force and left with a rank of 1st Lieutenant. The Distinguished Flying Cross is one of the highest awards given by the military to â??any officer or enlisted man of the Armed Forces of the United States who â?¦ distinguished himself in actual combat in support of operations by heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight.â?? It was authorized by an act of Congress in 1926; the first DFC was awarded to Charles A. Lindbergh. The award presentation will take place at 1:50 p.m. Mountain at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial on Memorial Drive between B and C Streets in Idaho Falls. In the event of inclement weather, the presentation will take place in the lobby of the Red Lion Inn Convention Center, 475 River Parkway.