More information about George McGovern’s military service

I received the following email from John Meinhold, whose late father Chief Master Sgt. Robert Meinhold served with George McGovern in the Fifteenth Air Force Command.

John details some interesting and little-known McGovern content on the website for the 455th Bombardment Group.

Thought you might consider to post this website for the 455th Bombardment Group:

This is the group command McGovern was assigned to in WWII. He was in the 741st squadron. If you peruse this site you will find photos of McGovern at the 2007 Reunion for the 455th. There was also a photo I saw (that some may not have seen before) that has a picture of McGovern with his aircrew (all the names of his aircrew are listed). This photo can be found under the link for “455th BG History- Squadrons” on page 232,

Also on page 191 of the same document is a description of the mission which McGovern received the Distinguished Flying Cross. It is under the heading “Landing at the Isle of Vis.”

There is a great deal of historic photos available at this website.

Also of note is that the 455th received two Distinguished Unit Citations (now called the Presidential Unit Citation).  This is the same award that was given to the Navy Seals that took out Bin Laden. Very few combat units receive the Presidential Unit Citation let alone 2 of them. It is only given to a unit that performs “exceptional heroism.” The 455th received this award on April 2 and June 26, 1944.

McGovern was assigned just after this period. But, it shows what valor this group command had.

A man of peace, proud of his service

Published Oct. 26, 2012

The Daily Republic

George McGovern was a long way from home. Slow, slight and frail, he was wearing jeans and a blazer. It was uptown Mitchell, and I suspected he was headed back to his house, all the way over near Dakota Wesleyan.

So I doubled back around the block, headed him off at a street corner and introduced myself, although I’d met him numerous times.

“Senator,” I asked, “do you need a ride?”

“Yes, I’d like that.”

That was about a year ago, and I figured right then that it would be my last meeting with McGovern, who died Sunday at the age of 90. But I still marveled that this old, old man was so independent that he planned to trek on foot from uptown all the way back to his home, a mile or two away.

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