Born: January 5, 1907, Racine, Wisconsin
Died: August 1, 1943 (age 36), KIA over Ploiesti, Romania
John Louis Jerstad, United States Army Air Forces, was
posthumously awarded the United States' highest military award, the
Medal of Honor during World War II for his actions as a B-24 pilot
during the raid on Ploieşti, Romania on August 1, 1943.
Jerstad-Agerholm Elementary School and
Jerstad-Agerholm Middle School in Racine, Wisconsin are both partially
named after John Louis Jerstad.
What do you know about Medal of Honor recipient
Major John L. Jerstad? Try this Quick Medal of Honor Quiz.
1. When did Jerstad enlist as an aviation cadet at
- January 12, 1941
- July 12, 1941
- December 12, 1941
2. He trained at Ontario, California., and Luke
3. He was commissioned and served with the 98th
and 93rd Bomb Groups at Barksdale Field, Louisiana. When was he
- Feb. 6, 1942
- Mar. 6, 1942
- Apr. 6, 1942
4. In October 1942, he went to Europe with the
93rd and flew with the 328th Bomb Squadron, as a captain. What was his
5. He was promoted to major in April 1943, and was
assigned to the 2nd Bomb Wing headquarters a month later.
6. When he took off on August 1, 1943, he had
finished his tour of duty. He volunteered for the mission?
7. On a daring low-level attack against enemy oil
refineries and installations at Ploesti, Rumania. Approaching the
target, his aircraft was hit by a large caliber antiaircraft shell,
seriously damaged and set on fire. Ignoring the fact he was flying over
terrain suitable for safe landing, he refused to jeopardize the mission
by breaking up the lead formation and continued unswervingly to lead his
group to the target upon which he dropped his bombs with devastating
8. Baker broke formation to avoid a mid-air
collision with bombers from the lead group, now arriving in the target
area from the opposite direction. He attempted to gain altitude so that
his crew could escape by parachute, but despite his efforts, his bomber
crashed and exploded, killing Baker and the other nine airmen aboard.
9. When was Jerstad posthumously awarded the Medal
- Oct. 28, 1943
- Nov. 28, 1943
- Dec. 28, 1943
10. Where is John Jerstad buried?
- Body lost or destroyed, remains never found
- Wisconsin National Cemetery, Racine, Wisconsin
- Ardennes American (ABMC) Cemetery and Memorial,
Neuville-en-Condroz, Liege, Belgium
Plot: Plot C Row 24 Grave 10