Monday, January 26, 2015

Medal of Honor Monday: Horace S. Carswell, Jr.

"He piloted a B-24 bomber in a one-plane strike against a Japanese convoy in the South China Sea on the night of 26 October 1944.  Taking the enemy force of 12 ships escorted by at least 2 destroyers by surprise, he made 1 bombing run at 600 feet, scoring a near miss on 1 warship and escaping without drawing fire.  He circled, and fully realizing that the convoy was thoroughly alerted and would meet his next attack with a barrage of antiaircraft fire, began a second low-level run which culminated in 2 direct hits on a large tanker.  A hail of steel from Japanese guns, riddled the bomber, knocking out 2 engines, damaging a third, crippling the hydraulic system, puncturing 1 gasoline tank, ripping uncounted holes in the aircraft and wounding the copilot; but by magnificent display of flying skill, Major Carswell controlled the plane's plunge toward the sea and carefully forced it into a halting climb in the direction of the China shore.  On reaching land, where it would have been possible to abandon the staggering bomber, one of the crew discovered that his parachute had been ripped by flak and rendered useless; the pilot, hoping to cross mountainous terrain and reach a base, continued onward until the third engine failed.  He ordered the crew to bail out while he struggled to maintain altitude and refusing to save himself, chose to remain with his comrade and attempt a crash landing.  He died when the airplane struck a mountainside and burned.  With consummate gallantry and intrepidity, Major Carswell gave his life in a supreme effort to save all members of his crew.  His sacrifice, far beyond that required of him, was in keeping with the traditional bravery of America's war heroes."

From Maj. Carswell's Medal of Honor citation, awarded on February 4, 1946.

Thank you for your service and may ou be at peace,

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