HUGHES, LLOYD HERBERT
HUGHES, LLOYD HERBERT (1921–1943). Lloyd "Pete" Herbert Hughes, Medal of Honor recipient, the son of Mrs. Mildred Mae Rainey Hughes Jordan of Corpus Christi, Texas, was born in Alexandria, Louisiana, in 1921. He graduated from Refugio High School and attended Corpus Christi Junior College and Texas A&M University. Hughes entered service at San Antonio on January 28, 1942. He was appointed aviation cadet the same day and attended flight school at Tulsa and Enid, Oklahoma. He received his pilot's wings at Lubbock, Texas, on November 10, 1942, was assigned to the 389th Bombardment Group, went to Africa in June 1943, and participated in five combat missions in the Italy-Romania area. Second Lt. Lloyd H. Hughes was awarded the Medal of Honor for "conspicuous gallantry in action and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty" during the air raid of August 1, 1943, on the oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania. He was the pilot of a heavy bombardment aircraft flying in the last element of a formation. As he approached the target area, through intense antiaircraft fire at a dangerously low altitude, his aircraft received several direct hits. The plane was seriously damaged, with fuel streaming from both the bomb bay and the left wing. Although he had the option to make a forced landing, Hughes proceeded to the target. With the full knowledge of the possible consequences of flying into the blazing target area with an already leaking and burning aircraft, he proceed to drop his bomb load with precision. Only then did he attempt to crash land. By then the fire had progressed so that his aircraft crashed and burned. His heroic decision to continue the mission at the risk of his life contributed to the defeat of the enemy. The posthumous medal was presented to his wife, Mrs. Hazel Dean Hughes, at Kelly Field, San Antonio, on April 18, 1944. Hughes was buried in Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in April 1950. A dormitory at Texas A&M University and a residence hall at Williams Air Force Base in Arizona were named in his honor.
Committee on Veterans' Affairs, United States Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients, 1863–1973 (Washington: GPO, 1973).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Art Leatherwood, "HUGHES, LLOYD HERBERT," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fhu72), accessed May 23, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.