Richard A. Knobloch

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¡Richard A. Knobloch (27 May 1918 – 13 August 2001) was a Brigadier General in the United States Air Force.


Knobloch was born in West Allis, Wisconsin in 1918.[1] Later he would move to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He attended the University of Wisconsin and Kansas State College. Knobloch died on August 13, 2001.[2]


Knobloch joined the United States Army in 1940.


During World War II he participated in the Doolittle Raid. A member of the 17th Bombardment Group, he trained at Columbia Army Air Base, South Carolina, and Eglin Field, Florida, for the raid on the Japanese homeland. He flew as the co-pilot of crew 13, in B-25B Mitchell, 40-2247, which bombed Yokosuka. The crew bailed out successfully near Poyang, China, within three miles of Japanese forces, but were not detected. Taken to Poyang by Chinese soldiers, they were recovered by way of Poyang Lake, Chuchow, bused to Hengyang and flown to Chungking.[3]

A delayed report from "a U.S. air base in northern India", carried by United Press on 2 October 1942, described the destruction of a strategic railway bridge in northwestern Burma by a "twin-engined American bomber", cutting the single Japanese line of communication to bases in that area.

"The pilot, Lieut. Richard (Nobby) Knobloch [sic], of Fort Sheridan, Ill., dived the plane almost to the top of the bridge before the Bombardier Liet. Robert Sikes, of Breckenridge, Texas, released delayed action bombs which Knobloch [sic] said 'blew 'em to smithereens.'"[4]


Following the war he was assigned to the Ninth Air Force and became Vice Commander of the 363d Tactical Reconnaissance Wing. In 1960 he entered the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. Later assignments include serving as Deputy Chief of Staff of Plans of Pacific Air Forces. His retirement was effective as of 1 February 1970.


Awards he received include the Distinguished Service Cross, the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, the Air Medal, and the Air Force Commendation Medal.

His Distinguished Flying Cross citation reads:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to First Lieutenant (Air Corps) Richard A. Knobloch, United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary achievement as Co-Pilot of a B-25 Bomber of the 1st Special Aviation Project (Doolittle Raider Force), while participating in a highly destructive raid on the Japanese mainland on 18 April 1942. Lieutenant Knobloch with 79 other officers and enlisted men volunteered for this mission knowing full well that the chances of survival were extremely remote, and executed his part in it with great skill and daring. This achievement reflects high credit on himself and the military service.


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  3. ^ Cohen, Stan, "Destination: Tokyo - A Pictorial History of Doolittle's Tokyo Raid April 18, 1942", Pictorial Histories Publishing Company, Missoula, Montana, 1983, Library of Congress card number 83-60014, ISBN 978-0-929521-52-7, pages 14, 26, 52, 64.
  4. ^ United Press, "Burma Railroad Bridge Wrecked", The San Bernardino Sun, San Bernardino, California, Friday 9 October 1942, Volume 49, page 1.

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