Navy Pilot Who Beat out Seven Soviet Jets Awarded Navy Cross 70 Years Later
Out-gunned and out-manned, one navy air pilot was awarded the Navy Cross–its second highest military honor–at a ceremony Jan. 20, some 70 years after he single-handedly shot down four Soviet fighter jets that ambushed him in a battle he’s been forbidden to discuss–per White House orders–for over 50 years.
Receiving the honor was 97-year-old Royce Williams, of Escondido, Calif., and the 35-minute air battle is one of the longest recorded in naval air history, according to declassified government records.
Williams’s prowess in the cockpit has become so well-known, he was consulted by producers for Tom Cruise’s iconic “Top Gun” movie franchise….
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