F/O Edward Thompson Mobsby finally awarded Silver Star

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Andy in West Oz
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F/O Edward Thompson Mobsby finally awarded Silver Star

Post by Andy in West Oz »

This is good to see.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-14/a ... ed/5322304
A 72-year long "administrative oversight" has been settled in Canberra, with the United States posthumously awarding an Australian airman with a Silver Star for courage.

Edward 'Mobs' Mobsby was the only Australian onboard a US plane which was shot down while on a mission over Papua New Guinea in 1942.

The four other men onboard were all posthumously awarded the Silver Star medal, the third highest award the US Department of Defence can present for gallantry.

But confusion between the Australian and US air forces meant that until today Flying Officer Mobsby missed out.

In a statement the US Air Force said it was thankful the matter could finally be cleared up.

"Awarding the Silver Star to RAAF Flying Officer Edward Thompson Mobsby corrects a 72-year administrative oversight," the statement said.

"By formally presenting Flying Officer Mobsby's family with his Silver Star we have an opportunity to recognise and acknowledge the gallantry and courage he exhibited alongside his American crew members so many years ago."

Both air forces made the assumption that the other country would award a medal to Mobsby's family, and it was not until the planes wreckage was recovered in 2010 that his family again ramped up their push for recognition.

"Confusion among the services contributed to why he wasn't awarded the Silver Star at the time," the US Air Force statement said.

"But we are extremely thankful for the stalwart efforts of Jenny Read [Edward Mobsby's daughter] who revived the quest for her father's award."

Ms Read from Adelaide along with her twin sister Rae Rayner from Geelong were both in Canberra for the presentation at the Australian War Memorial.

"We've been overwhelmed," Ms Read said.

"We his children, grand children, great-grandchildren and our extended families are so very proud and grateful for this amazing day."

Ms Read says the aircraft was shot down near Buna, Papua New Guinea on July 26, 1942.

"In December 2010 we were informed that the wreckage... had been positively identified as the plane in which my father was shot down," she said.

"It was located in a small village called Isoge, only a short distance from Kokoda."

The US Air Force says today's ceremony in Canberra was about righting a wrong.

"This award is one of the highest decorations for valour that can be awarded in our armed forces and we are thankful to finally be able to honour Flying Officer Mobsby's gallantry in action against the enemy."
The aircraft and circumstances of the loss:

http://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/b ... 12470.html
Andy Wright
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Re: F/O Edward Thompson Mobsby finally awarded Silver Star

Post by WWMc »

My uncle, CPL Walter N. Cook Jr, was the upper turret gunner on Mobsby's B-25. Several years ago I made contact with Mobsby's daughter and shared my research on the July 26, 1942 shoot down and the recovery of his remains in May 1943. Three unidentified sets of remains were recovered at the same time and place, but US authorities did not have enough evidence to say they were three of the four missing US crew members, so they remain MIA with a finding of death after the war. US records continue to show that the aircraft and remains were never found. I have been working with JPAC for about 8 years trying to obtain the identifying numbers assigned to the three unidentified sets of remains in hopes of being able to have my DNA reference sample checked against them. Along the way I provided locational information provided to me by Australians who had visited the site. Finally JPAC made a site visit in 2009, but has yet to return to look for remains. Mobsby's family visited the site in 2011 on the 69th anniversary of the shoot down. JPAC has never acknowledged my requests for the identifying numbers, but they have told me several times that justifying the exhumation and testing of the remains would be very difficult. JPAC intends to visit the site again to look for remains if they can justify the trip and they have the money. People who have visited the site are convinced that no remains are to be found, because they were removed in May 1943 and are probably at Fort McKinley in Manila. The bureaucratic inertia is frustrating, to say the least.

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