26 November 1943 — European Theater of Operations
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Lieutenant Colonel (Air Corps) [then Major] Francis Stanley Gabreski (ASN: 0-406132/4761A), United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Pilot of a P-47 Fighter Airplane in the 61st Fighter Squadron, 56th Fighter Group, 8th Air force, in aerial combat against enemy forces on 26 November 1943, in the European Theater of Operations. On this date, Colonel Gabreski led a flight of P-47 fighters on a bomber escort mission to targets near Oldenburg, Germany. With complete disregard for the danger involved, Colonel Gabreski led his flight into protected covering fighters. He personally attacked and destroyed the leading enemy aircraft and, despite damage sustained by his airplane from contact with falling pieces of the disintegrating enemy plane, sought out and destroyed another enemy fighter before returning to join his flight for further escort of the bombers. Colonel Gabreski's outstanding and spirited aggressiveness and his heroic disregard for his personal safety in the face of superior enemy forces were an inspiration to his fellow pilots and reflect highest credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United States.
Headquarters, U.S. Strategic Forces in Europe, General Orders No. 25 (April 26, 1944)