Eagle Profile

Years Honored: , ,

Aircraft/Specialty: , ,

1994 Lithograph
2003 Lithograph
2004 Lithograph

Lithograph Setting(s):

In the Mighty Eighth War Diary, the noted British aviation historian, Roger A. Freeman, writes "in the great 1943-44 air battles between the Luftwaffe and the Fortresses there was one air leader who time and time again was fated to be in the van. The resilience of Theodore 'Ross' Milton was remarkable... every time he led the Wing, he would inevitably wind up in the front position... "Whether enroute to Schweinfurt in October 1944, or to Oschersledben in January 1944, when faced with determined fighter attacks, Freeman notes, "the Wing nevertheless ploughed through and bombed the target..."

"No bomb shall fall on German soil," was the brash claim made by Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering before the start of World War II. The boastful Nazi went on to proclaim, "If enemy bombers ever appear over Berlin, you can call me Meier." In the spring of 1944, the Eighth Air Force was ready to take the war to the German capital. Thanks to the heroism of Ross Milton who continually led his wing from the front position, 6 March 1944 became the day that they called Goering Meier.

On 14 October 1943, a typical wet and foggy October morn in England, T. Ross Milton took off in his B-17 Flying Fortress. The mission: to bomb the ball-bearing industry in Schweinfurt, Germany. As 291 of the "Mighty Eighth's" bombers struggled to form up over the foggy British coast, Milton found his formation had the lead. He took charge and led the bombers deep into the heart of Germany without fighter escort. Despite the heavy loss of 60 B-17s and 600 airmen, they accomplished the mission. Germany had received another devastating blow from American airpower.