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Epilogue - Medals and accomplishments

Victory medal

The men of the 801st Engineer Aviation Battalion earned the Victory Medal, the American Theater Ribbon, European African Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon with bronze battle star, the Asiatic Pacific Ribbon, three overseas service bars and the Good Conduct Medal.

The 801st traveled around 25,000 miles in the course of its career, 19,000 by sea and 6,000 by train. That is the same distance as the circumference of the earth at the Equator, and good grounds for saying the battalion went halfway around the world and then back again. It built runways, hospitals, tank farms, pipelines, roads and barracks.

But its most important contribution to Allied victory - the airbase complex on the Azores, still in use by the U.S. Air Force today - would remain known to but a few because of the secret nature of the U.S. dealings with Portugal. And so the 801st was largely lost to history, notable only as the engineers that went through both a hurricane and a typhoon.

Thanks, guys. Well done.


In many ways the end of the 801st story was the beginning of dad's.more >