Out-gunned and out-manned, 1 navy aerial aviator was awarded the Navy Cross–its 2nd highest subject honor–at a ceremonial Jan. 20, immoderate 70 years aft helium single-handedly changeable down 4 Soviet combatant jets that ambushed him successful a conflict he’s been forbidden to discuss–per White House orders–for implicit 50 years.
Receiving the grant was 97-year-old Royce Williams, of Escondido, Calif., and the 35-minute aerial conflict is 1 of the longest recorded successful naval aerial history, according to declassified authorities records.
Williams’s prowess successful the cockpit has go truthful well-known, helium was consulted by producers for Tom Cruise’s iconic “Top Gun” movie franchise.
Cruise congratulated Williams connected his designation successful a video posted to Twitter.
“Your grit and bravery are simply astounding,” Cruise said successful the video posted the aforesaid time Williams received the honor. “You are a existent American leader and I connection you my astir sincere acknowledgment and congratulations to you, sir.”
Others congratulating Williams included Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Escondido) who authored authorities past twelvemonth to propulsion for Williams to person the Navy Medal of Honor but which did not summation capable traction.
“It is, to this day, the astir unsocial U.S.-Soviet aerial combat dogfight successful the past of the Cold War,” Issa said during the ceremonial honoring Williams astatine the San Diego Air and Space Museum. “It is my grant to person fought for Royce to summation a designation that helium has not sought, but truthful richly deserves.”
The Secret Air Battle
Williams was connected aerial patrol implicit the Yalu River, adjacent the North Korean border, with 3 different squadron mates Nov. 18, 1952, erstwhile 7 Soviet MiG-15s–the astir precocious combatant jets of the time, came retired of nowhere, Williams told The Epoch Times past year.
His plane–a single-seat F9F Panther combatant aircraft–was importantly out-gunned by the Soviet aircrafts owed to its “much little warring capableness and speed,” helium said.
Through a bid of antiaircraft aerial maneuvers, Williams said helium was capable to debar being changeable down portion simultaneously exploiting mistakes made by the Soviet pilots, yet shooting down 4 of 7 swarming his plane.
Out of ammunition and with his ain level riddled with implicit 250 bullets–including a captious deed to his fuselage that astir killed him–Williams retreated to his bearer ducking successful and retired of unreality screen to debar 1 past force level trying to sprout him down.
Williams, who retired from the Navy arsenic a skipper successful the mid-1970s, recalled adjacent contiguous orders from the Eisenhower medication swearing him to secrecy of the incidental amid Cold War tensions betwixt the U.S. and Soviet Union.
“If connection got retired that the Russians engaged [the U.S.] during the Korean War, it would’ve been World War III,” person and chap seasoned Steve Lewandowski told The Epoch Times past year.