A MUSEUM DEDICATED TO LORING AFB.

​​LORING A.F.B. MAINE 1953-1994​  

Major Charles Loring's grave. 

Charles Joseph Loring, Jr.

Military Biography:

Maj. Charles Joseph Loring Jr. fought in the European theatre in World War II from 1944 as a fighter pilot with the 36th Fighter Group's 22nd Squadron. He completed 55 combat missions before being shot down and taken prisoner. He was sent to Korea in May 1952 with the 36th and 80th Squadrons, 8th Fighter Bomber Group.

On November 22, 1952, Maj. Loring led his flight in dive-bombing enemy gun positions. When his plane was hit repeatedly during his attack run, Maj. Loring deliberately crashed his F-80 into the guns, destroying them.

Medal of Honor citation

Rank and organization: Major, U.S. Air Force, 80th Fighter-Bomber Squadron, 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing

Place and date: Near Sniper Ridge, North Korea, November 22, 1952

Entered service at: Portland, Maine. Born: October 2, 1918, Portland, Maine

Citation:

Maj. Loring distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. While leading a flight of 4F-80 type aircraft on a close support mission, Maj. Loring was briefed by a controller to dive-bomb enemy gun positions which were harassing friendly ground troops. After verifying the location of the target, Maj. Loring rolled into his dive bomb run. Throughout the run, extremely accurate ground fire was directed on his aircraft. Disregarding the accuracy and intensity of the ground fire, Maj. Loring aggressively continued to press the attack until his aircraft was hit. At approximately 4,000 feet, he deliberately altered his course and aimed his diving aircraft at active gun emplacements concentrated on a ridge northwest of the briefed target, turned his aircraft 45 degrees to the left, pulled up in a deliberate, controlled maneuver, and elected to sacrifice his life by diving his aircraft directly into the midst of the enemy emplacements. His selfless and heroic action completely destroyed the enemy gun emplacement and eliminated a dangerous threat to United Nations ground forces. Maj. Loring's noble spirit, superlative courage, and conspicuous self-sacrifice in inflicting maximum damage on the enemy exemplified valor of the highest degree and his actions were in keeping with the finest traditions of the U.S. Air Force.[2]


Maj. Charles Joseph Loring, Jr.October 2, 1918 – November 22, 1952 (aged 34)

Medal of Honor recipient Charles J. Loring, Jr. Place of birthPortland, Maine Place of deathNear Sniper Ridge, Korea Allegiance United States of America Service/branch United States Air Force

United States Army Air Corps Years of service1942 - 1952 RankMajor Unit36th Fighter Squadron

80th Fighter-Bomber Squadron Battles/warsWorld War II

Korean War AwardsMedal of Honor

Purple Heart(2)

Air Medal

SERVICE TIME: 
On Nov. 22, 1952, while leading a flight of four F-80 Shooting Stars against enemy gun positions in Korea, Maj. Charles J. Loring was hit repeatedly by ground fire during his dive. Instead of withdrawing, Major Loring aimed his F-80 directly at the gun positions and crashed into them, destroying them upon impact. Major Loring received the Medal of Honor for his sacrifice. 

He enlisted as private in the Army Air Corps in 1942. Within two months, he was appointed as an aviation cadet and the Army Air Forces Preflight School at Maxwell Field, Ala. After completing primary, basic and advanced flight training, he graduated and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Air Reserve with a pilot rating. 

His first assignment was to the 36th Fighter Group in Puerto Rico, flying anti-submarine patrols as a defense force for the Panama Canal and the Caribbean. He returned to the United States with the unit to train in the P-47 Thunderbolt at Charleston Army Air Base, S.C. From there, the unit moved to Scribner, Neb., before deploying to England in March 1944 for combat duty. The 36th FG flew out of Kingsnorth, England, in armed reconnaissance, escort and interdictory missions to prepare for the D-Day. By December the Allies had a good foothold in Europe and Lieutenant Loring had racked up 55 combat missions before being captured after his P-47 crashed on Christmas Eve in Belgium. He served six months as a prisoner of war before his release May 6, 1945.

He continued to serve his country in peacetime, and was attached to the Air University when war broke out in Korea. On Feb. 3, 1952, he was reassigned to the 2353rd Personnel Processing Squadron at Camp Stoneman, Calif. 

Even though the U.S. was not officially at war, he departed for Korea assigned to the 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing. His first duty was to supervise training for replacement pilots before they were phased into combat squadrons. In July he was a jet fighter pilot and squadron operations officer for the 36th Fighter-Bomber Squadron. The primary function was to support United Nations ground troops and attack airfields, supply lines and troop concentrations, not very different from his World War II mission, only the enemy was different.

On Nov. 22, 1952, Major Loring led a flight of F-80s on a close air support mission over North Korea, his 51st mission in Korea and his last.

His citation reads:..."Maj. Loring distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. While leading a night of 4 F-80 type aircraft on a close support mission, Maj. Loring was briefed by a controller to dive-bomb enemy gun positions which were harassing friendly ground troops. After verifying the location of the target, Maj. Loring rolled into his dive bomb run. Throughout the run, extremely accurate ground fire was directed on his aircraft. Disregarding the accuracy and intensity of the ground fire, Maj. Loring aggressively continued to press the attack until his aircraft was hit. At approximately 4,000 feet, he deliberately altered his course and aimed his diving aircraft at active gun emplacements concentrated on a ridge northwest of the briefed target, turned his aircraft 45 degrees to the left, pulled up in a deliberate, controlled maneuver, and elected to sacrifice his life by diving his aircraft directly into the midst of the enemy emplacements. His selfless and heroic action completely destroyed the enemy gun emplacement and eliminated a dangerous threat to United Nations ground forces. Maj. Loring's noble spirit, superlative courage, and conspicuous self-sacrifice in inflicting maximum damage on the enemy exemplified valor of the highest degree and his actions were in keeping with the finest traditions of the U.S. Air Force."

The former Loring Air Force Base in Limestone, Maine, was named after him. We are proud to have served on this base, and prouder still to keep the memory alive.

LORING FIRSTS! 

Loring Firsts 

April 5, 1947 First directive authorizing Limestone Army Airfield issued by Department of the Army


January 13, 1948 Base first became known as Limestone Air Force Base

June 16, 1948 First concrete pouring of Arch Hangar roof (takes 27 hours, 36 minutes)

September 1948 First aircraft lands on newly completed runway (a contractor's twin engine Cessna)

August 13, 1950 First permanently assigned aircraft arrives (a C-47 Transport)

April 1, 1953 First Bomber aircraft assigned to the base arrives (a B-36 assigned to the 69th Bomb Squadron)

August 2, 1953 First base open house (75,000 people attend)

September 28, 1953 First day of school at Damon Elementary

December 25, 1953 First television broadcast by experimental Armed Forces TV occurs at Loring (forerunner of today's Armed Forces Radio and Television Service)

March 16, 1954 First classes offered on base by the University of Maine (Freshman English and U.S. History, cost $30 each)

October 1954 First class of Loring's NCO Preparatory Academy begins

February 15, 1955 First tanker arrives at Loring (KC-97G)

June 16, 1956 First B-52 assigned to Loring arrives

October 16, 1957 First KC-135 arrives (christened "Aroostook Queen")

December 9, 1957 First visit by President of the United States (Dwight D. Eisenhower, en route to Nato meeting in Paris

May 21, 1959 First B-52 "G" Model arrives (aircraft # 56, 500)

October 29, 1959 First fighter aircraft arrive (Four F-106 Delta Darts of the 27th Fighter Interceptor Squadron)

December 14, 1968 First day of operation for Loring Ski Chalet

June 23, 1969 First two female air traffic controllers in the history of the Strategic Air Command conducted at Loring

October 8, 1970 First union on base (Local 2943 of AFL-CIO)

January 1, 1975 First testing of a la carte dining hall concept in the Strategic Air Command conducted at Loring

September 15, 1983 First HARPOON modified B-52 arrives

May 25, 1989 First KC-135 "R" model arrives

September 18, 1989 Loring bombers first to ever fly into Royal Air Force Base, St. Mawgan, United Kingdom

LORING MILITARY HERITAGE CENTER