Flying over the Pacific during World War II was treacherous, even if you weren't in battle, so going on a combat mission without backup was almost unheard of. But Navy Cmdr. Bruce Avery Van Voorhis volunteered to do just that, helping the Allies to eventually beat Japan. He and his crew never returned from their mission, but each earned accolades for bravery. For Van Voorhis, it was the Medal of Honor.
Van Voorhis was born Jan. 29, 1908, in Aberdeen, Washington, to Walter and Lillian Van Voorhis. The family moved when he was young to Fallon, Nevada, where he graduated from Churchill County High School in 1924. He then attended the Naval Academy and was commissioned into the Navy in 1929.
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