Ohio WWII veteran to receive Congressional Gold Medal

By DAYTON DAILY NEWS, OHIO Published: October 13, 2018

KETTERING, Ohio (Tribune News Service) — A World War II B-24 bomber gunner and longtime Kettering resident will receive the Congressional Gold Medal for his military service.

Col. Russell "Cliff" Hastler Jr., 93, was a part of the U.S. Army Air Forces. His unit, the 801st/482nd Bombardment Group, were forerunners to the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command.

Hastler also worked with the Office of Strategic Services, the predecessor organization to the CIA.

Congressman Mike Turner, R-Dayton, will present the award to Hastler next week.

Known as the "Carpetbaggers," Hastler served as a gunner on a warplane that flew on secret night missions from Harrington Field, England, to supply the French resistance and to drop parachutists in preparation for D-Day, according to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

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