Summary

A Korean fighter ace, Overton was denied his medals due to controversy. He was finally awarded them in 2009.

Conflict Period:
Korean War 1
Branch:
Air Force 1
Rank:
First Lieutenant 2
Birth:
02 Apr 1927 3
Andrews, South Carolina 4
Death:
25 Mar 2013 4
Georgetown, SC 5
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Personal Details

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Full Name:
Dolphin Dunnaha Overton III 1
Full Name:
Dolphin D Overton III 1
Also known as:
Dolph Overton 1
Birth:
02 Apr 1927 3
Andrews, South Carolina 2
Death:
25 Mar 2013 2
Georgetown, SC 3
Burial:
Prince George Winyah Cemetery, Georgetown, SC 4
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Korean War 1

Branch:
Air Force 1
Rank:
First Lieutenant 2
Service Start Date:
1949 2
Service End Date:
1953 2
Unit:
8th Fighter-Bomber Squadron, 49th Fighter-Bomber Wing; 16th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing 2

World War II 1

Branch:
Navy 1
Service Start Date:
1944 1
Service End Date:
1945 1
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Education:
Institution: US Military Academy 2
Place: West Point, NY 2
To: 1949 2

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Stories

Distinguished Service Cross citation

"For extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy of the United Nations as Group Leader of twenty-five F-84 type Aircraft, 49th Bomber Wing, Fifth Air Force, on 28 June 1952. On that date, Lieutenant Overton's group was diverted against a target of truck convoys discovered by a previous recce flight. Working in and through an overcast, Lieutenant Overton planned and executed a very difficult attack, sequencing his aircraft in such a manner as to provide maximum coverage of the target with minimum risk from heavy ground fire. With disregard for his own safety, Lieutenant Overton remained in enemy fire under the overcast so that he could visually direct the attacks and withdrawals. So successful was Lieutenant Overton's direction of the attack, that one hundred fifty trucks were destroyed and confirmed by photograph, making it one of the largest such strikes of the war. Lieutenant Overton's command of this strike in such adverse conditions and with such devastating results highlights his superb flying skill and extraordinary heroism in the face of fierce enemy opposition. Lieutenant Overton's actions reflect great credit upon himself, the Far East Air Force, the United States Air Force, and the United Nations Command."

4th Silver Star citation

"First Lieutenant Dolphin D. Overton III distinguished himself by gallantry in action during military operations against an armed enemy of the United States as F-86 Pilot over Korea. During his second combat tour, in a torrid 4-day period of 21-24 January 1953, Lieutenant Overton led the 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing in the confirmed shoot-down of four enemy MiG-15s. On 25 January 1953 while flying his aircraft near Uiju, Korea, Lieutenant Overton shot down his fifth enemy MiG-15. This accomplishment set a record in his becoming a jet Ace in the shortest period of time, becoming the 24th of the 38 Aces of the Korean War. The professional competence, aerial skill, and devotion to duty displayed by Lieutenant Overton in the dedication of his service to his country reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force."

Controversy

In January 1953, Overton shot down 5 MiGs in a period of 4 days, making him a jet ace in the shortest time of any in the war. However, since he flew into Chinese airspace—which was prohibited—to make the kills, Overton was reprimanded and told that he wouldn’t receive any of the awards he had previously earned. Shortly thereafter Overton left the Air Force. But in 2009, after reexamining Overton’s situation, the Air Force awarded him his medals.   

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