Jim Muri died of natural causes Tuesday in Billings, Mont. at the age of 93. Muri was a World War II pilot who saved his B-26 bomber and crew during the Battle of Midway by “buzzing the flight deck of a Japanese aircraft carrier,” according to the Associated Press.
Muri and his crew received the Distinguished Service Cross for their service and Muri was also awarded the Jimmy Doolittle Award in 2003.
On June 4, 1942, Muri piloted one of four B-26 bombers that took off from Midway Island to attack a Japanese fleet planning to invade the U.S. outpost about 1,100 miles northwest of Hawaii.
Japanese fighter planes shot the bombers with machine guns and cannons. Muri’s bomber was struck, and three crewmen were wounded, but he launched a torpedo at the aircraft carrier Akagi and then flew the plane down its flight deck to avoid the ship’s guns, which were all pointed outward. …
After the plane crash-landed on Midway Island, officials counted more than 500 bullet holes in the bomber, the Billings Gazette reported.