6 March 1944
Awarded Distinguished Service Cross for actions on 6 March 1944 aboard B-17G 42-31339 Schifless Skonk
Kovacik's Distinguished Service Cross citation reads:
STEVE H. KOVACIK, 33248652, Technical Sergeant, Army Air Forces, United States Army. For extraordinary heroism in action with the enemy, 6 March 1944. On this date Sergeant Kovacik was serving as Engineer Top-Turret Gunner on a B-17 airplane on a bombardment mission against Berlin. Soon after entering enemy territory, Sergeant Kovacik's airplane was viciously attacked by three enemy fighters. In the ensuing battle Sergeant Kovacik destroyed one enemy fighter but was himself painfully wounded by a 20MM shell, which also started a fire in the cockpit and forced him momentarily to leave his guns. Completely disregarding the pain of his wounds, Sergeant Kovacik refused aid, extinguished the fire, and returned to his gun position where he fought fiercely throughout a long running battle, during the course of which he destroyed another enemy airplane. The heroism, determination to destroy the enemy, and devotion to duty displayed by Sergeant Kovacik upon this occasion were inspiring to his fellow flyers and reflect highest credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United States. Entered military service from Pennsylvania.
USSTAF General Order #29
19 May 1944