County Council honors Shoreline resident Dwight Stevens

Sunday, June 9, 2019

County Council members and members of the military
honor Shoreline resident Dwight Stevens
Photo by Jerry Pickard

On Wednesday, June 5, 2019 the King County Council held a D-Day Anniversary Observance with Dwight Stevens, WWII B-17 pilot as their honored guest.

On June 6, the world commemorated the 75th Anniversary of the Allied invasion of Europe, better known as D-Day. The men of the “Greatest Generation” stormed the beaches of Normandy, playing a decisive role in turning the tide of World War II.

Councilmembers recognized those soldiers and their role in bringing an end to the global conflict.

Councilmember Larry Gossett, Dwight Stevens, and
Council Chair Rod Dembowski with the proclamation
honoring Dwight.
Photo by Jerry Pickard


From a speech by Dick Deal Veterans Day 2013

...Dwight was then flown to Prestwick, Scotland in a C-54 Transport plane, arriving June 7, 1944, the day after the D-Day invasion began in France. He was assigned to the 95th Heavy Bombardment Group stationed at Horham, Suffolk, England, 60 miles north of London.

In the next six months, as a B-17 pilot, Dwight flew 33 combat missions over Nazi-occupied Europe and participated in air raid missions over heavily-defended German targets such as Hamburg, Munich, and Berlin as well as other targets in Belgium, France, Poland and Romania.

During what he described as the “toughest” mission, on an air raid over Hamburg, Germany, the B-17 bomber he was piloting lost both left-side engines to heavy German anti-aircraft fire over the target. To lighten the damaged, struggling plane and improve its airworthiness and chances for making it back to Horham, the crew dropped the plane’s 2,000 lb. ball-turret and threw all machine guns, ammunition, and non-essential gear overboard. With the help of a protective escort of P-47 fighter planes, they “just made it back” to land at home base at Horham, England.

On the last five of his 33 air missions, our honoree and his crew were chosen as the Lead Plane, guiding 1500 airplanes to their intended targets. For his effort, skill and courage on these five missions, Dwight was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross ( DFC ), the highest award a flying officer can earn. He was also awarded the European Theater of Operations Ribbon with three stars, plus four Air Medals. In a ceremony held in New York on September 18, 1994, 50 years to the day after participating in a low-altitude raid in support of the Polish Military at the Warsaw Uprising, Dwight was awarded the Polish Home Army Medal personally, by the President of Poland, Lech Walesa.

Our honoree was promoted to the rank of 1st Lt. in September 1944, and flew his last combat mission on December 14th of that year. He spent the last six months of his military service as a flight instructor at Luke Field in Arizona. He was discharged from the Army Air Corps at Fort Lewis, Washington on August 1, 1945.



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