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Colin Kelly
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Military Personnel
    (July 11, 1915-December 10, 1941)
    Born in Madison, Florida
    Army Air Corps B-17 bomber pilot during WWII
    On December 10, 1941, he and his crew flew their B-17 Flying Fortress against Japanese naval forces attacking the Philippines
    Despite being under attack while they were taking off, they managed to damage a Japanese cruiser but were shot down on their return to base, killing Kelly and the plane's waist gunner
    Graduate of Marion Military Institute in Marion, Alabama and West Point
    Received the Distinguished Flying Cross
    Their attack caused little actual physical damage.
    Much misinformation was associated with the crew's courageous attack, i.e., they sank/damaged a Japanese battleship, they flew the plane into a battleship, there were no survivors, etc.
    As their plane was being shot down on their return to base, Kelly kept it in the air until the crew was able to parachute to safety, but it exploded before Kelly was able to escape himself.
    The story of his gallantry was a bright spot in the otherwise bleak early days of WWII.
    A Liberty ship and a high school have been named after him.
    He was the subject of two famous paintings by Robert Taylor.

Credit: tom_jeffords

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