Rank and organization: Major, U.S. Army Air Corps. Place and date: Near Wewak, New Guinea, 18 August 1943. Entered service at: Brooklyn, N.Y. Birth: San Francisco, Calif. G.O. No.: 72, 28 October 1943.
Citation... For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy. While Maj. Cheli was leading his squadron in a dive to attack the heavily defended Dagua Airdrome, intercepting enemy aircraft centered their fire on his plane, causing it to burst into flames while still 2 miles from the objective. His speed would have enabled him to gain necessary altitude to parachute to safety, but this action would have resulted in his formation becoming disorganized and exposed to the enemy.