Valley News -

By Tony Ault
Staff Writer 

Hemet's Sgt. William Becker presented the Congressional Gold Medal


Last updated 8/10/2018 at 8:02pm

Tony Ault

Congressman Raul Ruiz, R-CA 36, presents retired Sgt. William Becker the Congressional Gold Medal at the American Legion Post 53 in Hemet Aug. 1, for his service to the Office of Strategic Services during World War II, flying nighttime clandestine missions into Nazi-held countries.

Sgt. William Becker was just 18 in 1945 when he was firing his twin 50-caliber machine guns in the turret atop his B-24 Liberator bomber trying to hit the German fighter firing tracers at the American plane. The pilot quickly dropped the bomber down to a very low altitude above the North Sea, in a violent evasive action.

A wall of trees and a steep rock face in a fiord loomed just ahead of the World War II bomber, flying a clandestine mission for the Office of Strategic Services into Nazi-occupied Norway. The aircraft was coming closer and closer to the rock face as Becker kept firing the...

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