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Name: Martinus Stenseth
Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) Martinus Stenseth
Country: United States
Rank: Lieutenant
Service: United States Air Service
Units: 28th Aero
Victories: 8
Born: 11 June 1890
Place of Birth: Heiberg, Minnesota, USA
Died: 25 June 1979
Place of Death: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Cemetery: Twin Valley Memorial Gardens, Twin Valley, Minnesota, USA
 
 
In June 1916 Martinus Stenseth joined the Minnesota National Guard. Despite his age, he was accepted into the United States Air Service in December 1916. Following flight training he was posted to France in October 1917 and assigned to the 28th Aero Squadron in 1918. Flying the SPAD XIII, Stenseth became the highest scoring ace in his squadron and was credited with eight victories in the autumn of 1918. When the war ended, he remained in the army, returning to the United States in 1920. After commanding various pursuit squadrons, he served in the Philippines during the 1930's and was Military Attache to Finland and Latvia in 1940. In 1941, he founded Nellis Air Force Base and served as its commanding officer on two occasions. Following a distinguished career, Stenseth retired from the United States Army Air Force as a Brigadier General in 1947.
Morning World-Herald, Omaha, Nebraska, Saturday, 26 April 1941, page 24
The San Diego Union, San Diego, California, Sunday Morning, 13 June 1943, page 17
The Seattle Times, Seattle, Washington, Wednesday, 2 May 1945, page 10
 
Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Martinus Stenseth, First Lieutenant (Air Service), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action over the Argonne Forest, France, October 22, 1918. Lieutenant Stenseth went to the rescue of a French plane attacked by six enemy Fokker planes with twelve additional enemy planes hovering in reserve. Attacking the enemy with vigor, single handed, he drove down and destroyed one enemy plane and put to flight the remainder. His gallant act in the face of overwhelming odds proved an inspiration to the men of his squadron.
General Orders No. 9, W.D., 1923
 
Victories
Date Time Unit Aircraft Opponent Location
1 26 Sep 1918 1620 28th   Fokker D.VII Grimmcourt
2 28 Sep 1918 1310 28th   Fokker D.VII Grand Pre
3 28 Sep 1918 1310 28th   Fokker D.VII Grand Pre
4 02 Oct 1918 1750 28th   Halberstadt C 1 Ivoiry
5 22 Oct 1918 1545 28th   Fokker D.VII Ligny-devant-Dun
6 29 Oct 1918 1530 28th   EA N of Verdun
7 29 Oct 1918 1540 28th   Fokker D.VII (FTL) Over the Allied lines
8 06 Nov 1918 1055 28th   Two-seater 2 Foret de Woevre

1 Shared with Lt Thomas Cassady, Lt E J Hardy, Lt J F Merrill
2 Shared with Lt B E Brown, Lt C D McClung
 
Books
American Aces of World War 1
by Norman Franks, Harry Dempsey (Illustrator) / Paperback / Osprey Publishing (September 25, 2001)
Over the Front
by Norman L. R. Franks, Frank W. Bailey / Hardcover / Grub Street the Basement (May 1992)
 
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