Judge Ross and the Distinguished Flying Cross

As Memorial Day approaches, I have been thinking a lot about my old boss, mentor and dear friend Judge Donald R. Ross.  Judge Ross served for many years on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

Judge Ross was a bombardier, and later a lead bombardier, during WW II.  He flew with the 306th Bomb Group.  Serving two tours, and flying nearly 50 missions, the judge was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.  In fact, he received that citation twice.  The Cross is awarded for “Heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight.”  The judge is a  genuine war hero.

Image Credit:

Image Credit: Wiki Commons

Although he is frail, Judge Ross remains with us today.  His service during the war and thereafter should be remembered.

Some things are more important than others.


5 responses

  1. Trish,

    Yes, he was a great boss, although I confess that he also terrified me. It was only years later that I learned that his kids called him, “Peaches.”

    All the best.


  2. While I thought I had some knowledge of Judge Ross, my entry into the practice of law came too late to ever appear before him. I knew neither of his distinguished service in WW II nor his strong ties to South Central Nebraska. Thank you for sharing this great story. I would also give mention to retired Nebraska state district court judge DeWayne Wolf, who still resides in Kearney. He served in Gen. Patton’s Army in the Battle of the Bulge and the subsequent invasion of Nazi Germany.Thanks to all of our WW II veterans and judges for their service.

  3. Dan,

    Good to hear from you. Yes, indeed, the Judge grew up in Curtis. He married Janice Cook, Ed Cook’s sister, from Lexington. A Cook had been practicing law in Lexington (Plum Creek) since about 1884. As far as legal royalty went in Dawson County, the Cook family was it. I had the great good fortune to practice with Ed for 13 years after Judge Ross sent me into the real world.

    As for Judge Wolf, I remember practicing in front of him. What a very smart judge. He always treated me kindly, although when I came from Lexington to take a no-fault divorce, I always let the Kearney lawyer take the laboring oar. Judge Wolf, as you may remember, had a penchant for doing things his way (and by that I mean no criticism). So, I decided early on that the best way to handle divorces in Kearney was to let the other lawyer put on the no-fault evidence. That seems so long ago!

    All the best.


  4. Pingback: Judge Donald R. Ross is gone « Hercules and the umpire.

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