Air Force Memorabilia

Schriber, Ronald W.

Rank: Captain
Serial Number: O-766720
Military Branch: 367th Fighter Squadron, 358th Fighter Group
Origin: Oregon
Featured: No

This is a rare and most interesting set of court-mounted named medals (Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 17 Oak Leaf Clusters) to Captain Ronald Schriber, AAF P-47 Thunderbolt fighter-bomber pilot in Europe in WW2. The story about these medals was published by Mike Minnich in the June 1988 issue of the "Medal Collector" as the Journal of the Orders and Medals Society was then called. I purchased the medals from Mike Minnich who found them in a shop in Ottawa, Canada. Minnich tracked down Ron Schriber in Portland, Oregon. Ron answered dozens of questions posed to him and sent copy negatives of many of the great shots he had of his P-47 operations during the war, including a picture of him receiving the DFC. The DFC was awarded fo valor in knocking out a vital German railroad bridge across the Necker River south of Heidelburg, during a dive-bombing mission. Schriber said he was in several dogfights, and got squadron level credit for destroying four  German aircraft–2 ME-109's, 1 ME-262 jet, and an Fi156 Storch spotter plane. However, the official USAF Victory Credits List credits him with only the Storch, on April 10, 1945.

Included in the group is the original correspondence between Minnich and Schriber back in 1985-1986, negatives and photos from Schriber and the medal group shown below. The medal bar consists of DFC, Air Medal with 17 oak leaf clusters, American Campaign medal with one star, European Campaign medal with 4 stars, Victory medal, and Army of Occupation medal.

Ronald Wayne Schriber was born November 6, 1922 in Portland, Oregon. He entered the service of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce on August 21, 1940 in the Portland, Oregon. He enlisted in the AAF November 26, 1942. He was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant February 8, 1944, upon completion of training; then promoted to 1st Lieutenant September 1, 1944, and Captain May 17, 1945. Schriber went overseas in June, 1944 and served as a fighter pilot in operations in support of the 3rd and 7th US Armies in France and Germany, during which time he flew 136 missions for which he was awarded 18 Air Medals. He is also entitled to the Distinguished Unit Citation with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters.

The medal group is court mounted like Canadian or British medals. The group was found in Canada, but Mr. Schriber stated that his original medals were most likely lost in house moves in the US. The DFC and Air Medal are engraved on the reverse with Schribers name and rank as 1st Lieutenant. In all likelehood, this engraving is not official, but is very professionally done. Someone spent a lot of money and time to assemble this group. No one knows who that would have been.

The article in the June 1988 OMSA publication by Minnich is 10 pages long, and explains the group really well. Minnich located Schriber after he found the group, and there were numerous typewritten letters back and forth, that go with the group. It also includes many black and white copies of original pictures that Schriber sent to Minnich. All of it is included, including the negatives. It is believed that Minnich is still in Toronto, but have yet to find him on line. Schriber is still living in the Portland, Oregon area in all likelihood. The company that Schriber worked for was based in Canada, so it is possible that someone in that company had the group made up. They had his service records and copies of all his awards. The company actually published them, and a copy of that is included too.

In the pictures below, Schriber is receiving his DFC (cover of OMSA magazine), Schriber (on right) viewing the bridge he helped destroy, and Schriber in his P-47, "Breezy II" with what looks like Betty Boop painted on the nose. Note the two different dates on the reverse of the medals, which is consistant with the dates issued.

The Distinguished Service Cross citation, dated March 7, 1945 states: "For extraordiary achievement in air operations against the enemy in the European Theatre of Operations. On 2nd February, 1945, Lt. Schriber participated in an attack on an important railroad bridge vital to the enemy for the movement of troops and supplies. In an accurate and determined attack he released his bombs on the bridge, destroying two spans. Lt. Schriber exhibited great courage and determination in completing his accurate attack, which was made hazardous by enemy anti-aircraft fire protecting the target. The outstanding achievement of this officer reflects great credit upon himself and is in keeping with the highest traditions of the Army Air Forces."


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