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WWII Veteran Honored at Virginia Statehouse

Ernest Merle Hancock of Manassas honored with Silver Star 70 years after he earned it.

A Silver Star medal.
A Silver Star medal.
With the help of friends and local legislators, Ernest Merle Hancock of Manassas was received the Silver Star this week in a Statehouse presentation 70 years from the battlefield where he earned it.

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, there was a fire on a B-17 where Hancock was serving as a gunner in 1944, but he continued shooting at the enemy. The fire caused severe burns to Hancock’s hips and legs.

“I shot down three German aircraft before our plane was hit,” Hancock told Prince William Living last spring in an article on The Freedom Museum of Manassas, where Hancock volunteers.

Hancock was held as a prisoner of war in Poland for a year before he was rescued. "It was a long row to hoe," he told the magazine.

Jerry Martin, a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps, told legislators last year that Hancock likely hadn't been given the medal he earned, according to The Times-Dispatch.

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