Vet Who Shot Down 4 MiGs in 35 Minutes Receives Navy Cross Medal 70 Years Later
YouTube / KPBS Public Media
A Long Time Coming
Hundreds of people were in attendance to watch 97-year-old veteran Royce Williams receive his Navy Cross award from the Secretary of the Navy.
The event that led to this day happened 70 years ago, during the Korean War. Williams and his squadron were flying near the coast of North Korea when they spotted a group of MiGs approaching them. The rest of the unit flew back to the aircraft carrier because of mechanical failures – except Royce Williams.
“They shot first, so it was game on. I didn’t have a choice!”
Williams fought the MiGs for the next 35 minutes while operating an F9F-5 Panther.
“I had a better gun sight and reliable guns.”
And that he did. He successfully shot down four MiGs in probably the longest dogfight in the history of the Navy. What a legendary tale.