Lubbock World War II veteran honored with distinguished flying cross medal
Andrew Winnegar enlisted in the Navy at the age of 17 and now at age 93, seven medals have been pinned to his chest, including the distinguished flying cross. The distinguished flying cross signifies a heroic action during combat.
"I didn't come back with my ship," Winnegar said. "My shipmates got their medals when the ship docked. They stood and reviewed and were presented with them."
Immediately after his mission was over, Winnegar went to flight school to become a naval aviator.
"I was in flight school and they don't give you medals in flight school, or at least I didn't get any in flight school," said Winnegar.
He flew 66 combat missions as a gunner, bombardier and surveillance photographer aboard carrier based aircraft during WWII. He fought with valor in the skies over Saipan and Tinian and was wounded during one sortie.
Michael Hall, commanding officer for the Naval Recruiting District in Dallas, said Winnegar certainly earned the recognition of the distinguished flying cross metal.
"It was just through an administrative oversight he wasn't able to be recognized at the time," Hall said. "So it is really a part of us keeping faith with our veterans to be able to follow through and give them the honor they earned through their efforts."
Winnegar is currently active in the Honor Flight organization and what he calls "Market Street Geezers", a group of his fellow veterans who meet every Monday morning to drink coffee and not only talk about their war times, but about every day life.