Monday, November 28, 2016

Medal of Honor Monday: Henry T. Elrod

 
"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while attached to Marine Fighting Squadron 211, during action against enemy Japanese land, surface and aerial units at Wake Island, from 8 to 23 December 1941.  Engaging vastly superior forces of enemy bombers and warships on 9 and 12 December, Captain Elrod shot down two of a flight of twenty-two hostile planes and, executing repeated bombing and strafing runs at extremely low altitude and close range, succeeded in inflicting deadly damage upon a large Japanese vessel, thereby sinking the first major warship to be destroyed by small caliber bombs delivered from a fighter-type aircraft.  When his plane was disabled by hostile fire and no other ships were operative, Captain Elrod assumed command of one flank of the line set up in defiance of the enemy landing and conducting a brilliant defense, enabled his men to hold their positions and repulse determined Japanese attacks, repeatedly proceeding through intense hostile fusillades to provide covering fire for unarmed ammunition carriers.  Capturing an automatic weapon during one enemy rush in force, he gave his own firearm to one of his men and fought on vigorously against the Japanese.  Responsible in a large measure of the strength of his sector's gallant resistance, on 23 December, Captain Elrod led his men with bold aggressiveness until he fell, mortally wounded.  His superb skill as a pilot, daring leadership and unswerving devotion to duty distinguished him among the defenders of Wake Island, and his valiant conduct reflects the highest credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service.  He gallantly gave his life for his country. "

From Capt. Elrod's Medal of Honor citation, awarded on November 8, 1946.

Thank your for your brave service and may you be at peace,
Brian

 
Henry Elrod Welcome Center in Ashburn, Georgia.

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