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FReeper Canteen ~ Hall of Heroes: SSgt Henry "Red" Erwin ~ March 25, 2013
Serving The Best Troops and Veterans In The World !! | StarCMC

Posted on 03/24/2013 4:59:56 PM PDT by Kathy in Alaska


Our Troops Rock!  Thank you for all you do!
 
For the freedom you enjoyed yesterday... Thank the Veterans who served in The United States Armed Forces.
 
Looking forward to tomorrow's freedom? Support The United States Armed Forces Today!
 
 
~ Hall of Heroes ~

SSgt Henry "Red" Erwin

Info from this website.

ArmyPatch small   NavySeal small   Air Force Seal   Marines Seal small   Coast Guard Seal small (better)
 By: DaveTroll

Without counting the cost to himself, SSgt. Henry Erwin
did what had to be done to save the B-29 crew.


We may marvel at the heroism and tenacity of the men whose stories have been told in this column, but few readers can truly comprehend the suffering of many Vietnam POWs, the epic struggle of Lance Sijan, or the gallantry of Jack Mathis. What they did lies beyond the realm of our experience. But most of us have borne in some small degree the kind of anguish SSgt. Henry E. Erwin endured to save the lives of his fellow crewmen. We can empathize with his suffering and perhaps more fully appreciate the depth of his heroism.

On April 12, 1945, the City of Los Angeles, a 29th Bombardment Group aircraft commanded by Capt. George Simeral, led a formation of Guam-based B-29s in a low-level attack on a chemical plant at Koriyama, some 120 miles north of Tokyo. It was the 11th combat mission for Simeral's lead crew. Alabama-born Henry Erwin, known to his family as "Gene" and to his squadron mates as "Red," was the B-29's radio operator. According to retired Colonel Simeral, a holder of the Distinguished Service Cross, Erwin was "a country boy, quiet, unassuming, religiously devout," and the best radioman of the 52d Bomb Squadron.

One of Erwin's additional duties was to drop a phosphorus smoke bomb through a chute in the B-29's floor when the lead plane reached an assembly area over enemy territory. He was given the signal to drop the bomb when the City of Los Angeles was off the south coast of Japan and under attack by flak ships. Erwin, bare-headed and with shirtsleeves rolled up, pulled the pin and released his bomb into the chute. The fuse malfunctioned, igniting the phosphorus, which burned at a temperature of 1,300 degrees. (The heating element of an electric range glows red at 1,100 degrees.) The canister blew back up the chute into Erwin's face, blinding him, searing off one ear, and filling the B-29 with heavy smoke that obscured the pilots' instrument panel.

Erwin knew that the bomb would burn through the metal floor into the bomb bay. It had to be jettisoned or the aircraft and crew were lost. Totally blind, he located the burning bomb on the floor, picked it up in his bare hands, and stumbled forward toward the flight deck, aiming to throw it out the copilot's window. As he groped his way around the gun turret, his face and arms covered with ignited phosphorus, his path was blocked by the navigator's folding table, hinged to the wall but now down and locked. The navigator had left his table to make a sighting.

Erwin needed both hands to release the table's latches. While he felt for them, he held the white-hot bomb under his bare right arm. In those seconds, the phosphorus burned through his flesh to the bone. Now a walking torch, Erwin staggered on into the pit, threw the bomb out the window, and collapsed between the pilots' seats.

Simeral, no longer blinded by smoke, pulled the B-29 out of a dive at 300 feet above the water and turned toward Iwo Jima where Erwin could be given emergency treatment. Horrified crew members extinguished the flames consuming Erwin's clothing and administered first aid. Whenever the sergeant's burns were uncovered, phosphorus embedded in his flesh began to smoulder. In terrible pain, Erwin remained conscious throughout the flight to Iwo. He spoke only to inquire about the safety of the crew.

The crew of the City of Los Angeles, Major General Willis Hale, and Red Erwin at the presentation of his Medal of Honor.The medics at Iwo did not believe Erwin could survive. Cutting through red tape, Army Air Force officials, spurred by Maj. Gen. Curtis LeMay and Brig. Gen. Lauris Norstad, approved award of the Medal of Honor in a matter of hours, so a presentation could be made while Erwin lived. A Medal was flown to Guam and presented in the hospital there.

Contrary to the flight surgeons' opinion, Erwin did survive. He was evacuated to the States, and after 30 months and reconstructive surgery that restored his eyesight and the use of one arm, Erwin was given a disability discharge from the AAF as a master sergeant in October 1947. For 37 years he served as a Veterans' Benefit Counselor at the VA Hospital in Birmingham.

While Erwin lay swathed in bandages in the hospital at Guam, Gen. Hap Arnold wrote: "I regard your act as one of the bravest in the records of this war." No one could argue with that judgment. Erwin was, and always will remain, a hero among heroes.

Related Links:
http://www.homeofheroes.com/wings/erwin.html
http://www.homeofheroes.com/wings/erwin_tribute.html
Citation

Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army Air Corps, 52d Bombardment Squadron, 29th Bombardment Group, 20th Air Force.

Place and date: Koriyama, Japan, 12 April 1945.

Entered service at: Bessemer, Ala.

Born: 8 May 1921, Adamsville, Ala. G.O. No.: 44, 6 June 1945.

Citation: He was the radio operator of a B-29 airplane leading a group formation to attack Koriyama, Japan. He was charged with the additional duty of dropping phosphoresce smoke bombs to aid in assembling the group when the launching point was reached. Upon entering the assembly area, aircraft fire and enemy fighter opposition was encountered. Among the phosphoresce bombs launched by S/Sgt. Erwin, 1 proved faulty, exploding in the launching chute, and shot back into the interior of the aircraft, striking him in the face. The burning phosphoresce obliterated his nose and completely blinded him. Smoke filled the plane, obscuring the vision of the pilot. S/Sgt. Erwin realized that the aircraft and crew would be lost if the burning bomb remained in the plane. Without regard for his own safety, he picked it up and feeling his way, instinctively, crawled around the gun turret and headed for the copilot's window. He found the navigator's table obstructing his passage. Grasping the burning bomb between his forearm and body, he unleashed the spring lock and raised the table. Struggling through the narrow passage he stumbled forward into the smoke-filled pilot's compartment. Groping with his burning hands, he located the window and threw the bomb out. Completely aflame, he fell back upon the floor. The smoke cleared, the pilot, at 300 feet, pulled the plane out of its dive. S/Sgt. Erwin's gallantry and heroism above and beyond the call of duty saved the lives of his comrades.
Please remember the Canteen is here to honor, support and entertain our troops and their families.  This is a politics-free zone!  Thanks for helping us in our mission!


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Free Republic
KEYWORDS: canteen; heroes; military; troopsupport
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To: Kathy in Alaska; laurenmarlowe; BIGLOOK; alfa6; EsmeraldaA; SandRat; mylife; TMSuchman; PROCON; ...


REST IN PEACE, FALLEN BROTHER!



CWO James E. Groves, III, USA, 3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, KIA Afghanistan 16Mar2013



I have fought a good fight,
I have finished my course,
I have kept the faith.
2 Timothy 4:7 (KJV)

"Arm yourselves, and be ye men of valour, and be in readiness for the conflict; for it is better for us to perish in battle than to look upon the outrage of our nation and our altar. As the Will of God is in Heaven, even so let it be." (1 Maccabees 3:58–60)

God Of Our Fathers



Rest in Peace, fallen brother, rest in peace!
We who remain hold you in high honor.
Rest, fallen brother, in this sacred precinct;
We who remain keep this place sacred.
Rest, fallen brother, among these, your comrades;
We who remain keep the watch.
Rest, fallen brother, among these who answered the Nation’s call;
We who remain press the fight forward in your name.
Rest, fallen brother, lay down thy burden;
We who remain have taken up the torch.
Rest in Peace, fallen brother, rest in eternal peace!



Taps
(Click)









Genuflectimus non ad principem sed ad Principem Pacis!

Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. (Isaiah 49:1 KJV)

21 posted on 03/24/2013 6:08:04 PM PDT by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3/5 Marines RVN 1969 - St. Michael the Archangel defend us in Battle!)
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To: ColdOne
And close behind....Idaho snags the silver!!


22 posted on 03/24/2013 6:12:01 PM PDT by Kathy in Alaska (((~RIP Brian...the Coast Guard lost a good one.~)))
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To: Kathy in Alaska; laurenmarlowe; BIGLOOK; alfa6; EsmeraldaA; SandRat; mylife; TMSuchman; PROCON; ...


REST IN PEACE, FALLEN BROTHER!



Spc. Derek McConnell, USA, Died 18Mar2013 of Wounds Sustained in Afghanistan 23Jul2011


I have fought a good fight,
I have finished my course,
I have kept the faith.
2 Timothy 4:7 (KJV)

"Arm yourselves, and be ye men of valour, and be in readiness for the conflict; for it is better for us to perish in battle than to look upon the outrage of our nation and our altar. As the Will of God is in Heaven, even so let it be." (1 Maccabees 3:58–60)

God Of Our Fathers



Rest in Peace, fallen brother, rest in peace!
We who remain hold you in high honor.
Rest, fallen brother, in this sacred precinct;
We who remain keep this place sacred.
Rest, fallen brother, among these, your comrades;
We who remain keep the watch.
Rest, fallen brother, among these who answered the Nation’s call;
We who remain press the fight forward in your name.
Rest, fallen brother, lay down thy burden;
We who remain have taken up the torch.
Rest in Peace, fallen brother, rest in eternal peace!



Taps
(Click)









Genuflectimus non ad principem sed ad Principem Pacis!

Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. (Isaiah 49:1 KJV)

23 posted on 03/24/2013 6:12:46 PM PDT by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3/5 Marines RVN 1969 - St. Michael the Archangel defend us in Battle!)
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To: Kathy in Alaska
Good evenin' Kathy...((HUGS))


SIERRA VISTA — He’s a want-to-be Paul Bunyan.

The only thing missing was a little more height and Babe, the Blue Ox.

On Saturday, 13-year-old Sebastian Klein swung an ax with all his might as he struck again and again at a wood log.

“After awhile it gets harder and harder to stay on target,” the Boy Scout said, as he worked on becoming a Tenderfoot in Troop 464, which is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus.

The troop was one of many at the 2nd Annual Cochise District Scout Show.

24 posted on 03/24/2013 6:14:00 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty - Honor - Country! What else needs said?)
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To: HopeandGlory
And rounding out the top three....Nana Hope!!


25 posted on 03/24/2013 6:15:57 PM PDT by Kathy in Alaska (((~RIP Brian...the Coast Guard lost a good one.~)))
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To: Kathy in Alaska; laurenmarlowe; BIGLOOK; alfa6; EsmeraldaA; SandRat; mylife; TMSuchman; PROCON; ...








Welcome To All Who Enter This Canteen, To Our Serving Military, To Our Veterans, To All Military Families, To Our FRiends and To Our Allies!



Missing Man Setting

“The Empty Chair”

By Captain Carroll “Lex” Lefon, USN (RET), on December 21st, 2004

“In the wardroom onboard the aircraft carrier from which I recently debarked was a small, round table, with single chair. No one ever sat there, and the reasons, both for the table being there, and for the fact that the chair was always empty, will tell the reader a little bit about who we are as a culture.The wardroom, of course, is where the officers will dine; morning, noon and evening. It is not only a place to eat – it is also a kind of oasis from the sometimes dreary, often difficult exigencies of the service. A place of social discourse, of momentary relief from the burdens of the day. The only things explicitly forbidden by inviolable tradition in the wardroom are the wearing of a cover or sword by an officer not actually on watch, or conversation which touches upon politics or religion. But aboard ships which observe the custom, another implicit taboo concerns the empty chair: No matter how crowded the room, no matter who is waiting to be seated, that chair is never moved, never taken.

The table is by the main entrance to the wardroom. You will see it when you enter, and you will see it when you leave. It draws your eyes because it is meant to. And because it draws your eyes it draws your thoughts. And though it will be there every day for as long as you are at sea, you will look at it every time and your eyes will momentarily grow distant as you think for a moment. As you quietly give thanks.

AS YOU REMEMBER.

The small, round table is covered with a gold linen tablecloth. A single place setting rests there, of fine bone china. A wineglass stands upon the table, inverted, empty. On the dinner plate is a pinch of salt. On the bread plate is a slice of lemon. Besides the plate lies a bible. There is a small vase with a single red rose upon the table. Around the vase is wound a yellow ribbon. There is the empty chair.

We will remember because over the course of our careers, we will have had the opportunity to enjoy many a formal evening of dinner and dancing in the fine company of those with whom we have the honor to serve, and their lovely ladies. And as the night wears on, our faces will in time become flushed with pleasure of each other’s company, with the exertions on the dance floor, with the effects of our libations. But while the feast is still at its best, order will be called to the room – we will be asked to raise our glasses to the empty table, and we will be asked to remember:

The table is round to show our everlasting concern for those who are missing. The single setting reminds us that every one of them went to their fates alone, that every life was unique.

The tablecloth is gold symbolizing the purity of their motives when they answered the call to duty.

The single red rose, displayed in a vase, reminds us of the life of each of the missing, and their loved ones who kept the faith.

The yellow ribbon around the vase symbolizes our continued determination to remember them.

The slice of lemon reminds us of the bitterness of their fate.
The salt symbolizes the tears shed by those who loved them.
The bible represents the faith that sustained them.
The glass is inverted — they cannot share in the toast.
The chair is empty — they are not here. They are missing.

And we will remember, and we will raise our glasses to those who went before us, and who gave all that they had for us. And a part of the flush in our faces will pale as we remember that nothing worth having ever came without a cost. We will remember that many of our brothers and sisters have paid that cost in blood. We will remember that the reckoning is not over.

We many of us will settle with our families into our holiday season, our Christmas season for those who celebrate it, content in our fortune and prosperity. We will meet old friends with smiles and laughter. We will meet our members of our family with hugs. We will eat well, and exchange gifts and raise our glasses to the year passed in gratitude, and to the year to come with hope. We will sleep the sleep of the protected, secure in our homes, secure in our homeland.

But for many families, there will be an empty chair at the table this year. A place that is not filled.

WE SHOULD REMEMBER.”

Thanks To Alfa6 For Finding The Narrative Of “The Empty Chair.”

Robert Schumann – “Traumerei”
(Click)

Never Forget The Brave Men And Women Who Gave Their Lives To Secure Our Freedom!!








Genuflectimus non ad principem sed ad Principem Pacis!

Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. (Isaiah 49:1 KJV)

26 posted on 03/24/2013 6:17:07 PM PDT by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3/5 Marines RVN 1969 - St. Michael the Archangel defend us in Battle!)
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To: ConorMacNessa

The Bible says that no man has greater love than he would lay down his life for his friends.

There is no doubt in my mind that Sergeant Erwin. thought he was going to die but he kept going even through extraordinary pain, He didn’t just take on job, he knew what he would burned to death in a hoorible matter. Somehow he did survive,


27 posted on 03/24/2013 6:25:16 PM PDT by yarddog (Truth, Justice, and what was once the American Way.)
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To: The Mayor
We are not built to bear burdens alone. When we cast them on the One who wants to bear our burdens (Ps. 68:19; 1 Peter 5:7), He replaces them with forgiveness, healing, and restoration. No burden is too heavy for Him.

Good evening, Mayor....great message. Thank you for today's sustenance for body and soul.

28 posted on 03/24/2013 6:51:01 PM PDT by Kathy in Alaska (((~RIP Brian...the Coast Guard lost a good one.~)))
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To: ConorMacNessa


Honoring Our Fallen

29 posted on 03/24/2013 6:54:02 PM PDT by BIGLOOK (Keelhaul the usual suspects!)
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To: yarddog

Good evening, yarddog....thanks for sharing your experiences.


30 posted on 03/24/2013 6:54:12 PM PDT by Kathy in Alaska (((~RIP Brian...the Coast Guard lost a good one.~)))
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To: ConorMacNessa

God rest the souls of the fallen heroes.....


31 posted on 03/24/2013 7:01:52 PM PDT by LUV W (All my heroes wear camos!)
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To: DuncanWaring

Welcome to the Canteen, DuncanWaring....

I hear what you are saying. Thanks for sharing your experiences.


32 posted on 03/24/2013 7:02:42 PM PDT by Kathy in Alaska (((~RIP Brian...the Coast Guard lost a good one.~)))
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To: Kathy in Alaska; StarCMC

Thanks, galz, for another heroic story from one of our brave and true! They never disappoint! :)


33 posted on 03/24/2013 7:04:25 PM PDT by LUV W (All my heroes wear camos!)
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To: ConorMacNessa; Jet Jaguar; StarCMC; AZamericonnie
Calling albore! Calling albore! We just got a Winter Weather Advisory...

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 10 PM THIS EVENING TO 5 AM AKDT TUESDAY...

* LOCATION...ACROSS ALL OF THE ANCHORAGE BOWL...EAGLE RIVER AND HILLSIDE.

* SNOW...10 TO 18 INCHES OF ADDITIONAL ACCUMULATION THROUGH EARLY TUE MORNING. HIGHEST AMOUNTS ALONG THE HILLSIDE.

* TIMING...EXPECT PERIODS OF LIGHT SNOW THROUGH THE EARLY EVENING. LATE THIS EVENING SNOW WILL BECOME HEAVY AT TIMES AND PERSIST THROUGH MONDAY. SNOW WILL DIMINISH LATE MONDAY NIGHT INTO EARLY TUESDAY MORNING.

* IMPACTS...TRAVEL MAY BE DIFFICULT. VISIBILITIES MAY BE LIMITED IN HEAVY SNOWFALL.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW COVERED ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES...AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.

Going back to work in the morning should be interesting.

JJ...what is going on to the north?

StarCMC is reporting 13+ inches already and more coming in Missouri.

Mac...maybe your daffodils knew that you would get more snow.. d:o)

34 posted on 03/24/2013 7:25:24 PM PDT by Kathy in Alaska (((~RIP Brian...the Coast Guard lost a good one.~)))
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To: Kathy in Alaska
The Daffodils know it all - I've spent more time at this particular location than anywhere else. We've been here 24 years and most of the daffodils and other Spring bulbs went into the ground early on.



I don't have any early photos of them - this is a view of my Daffodils "Ice Follies" in March 2010 - they were planted in 1990 or 1991 - still going strong!



Where are the survivors of the massacre at Benghazi? The silence of the Obama Regime on this question is deafening!

Fiat Justitia, Ruat Coelum!

Genuflectimus non ad principem sed ad Principem Pacis!

Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. (Isaiah 49:1 KJV)

35 posted on 03/24/2013 7:39:12 PM PDT by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3/5 Marines RVN 1969 - St. Michael the Archangel defend us in Battle!)
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To: Kathy in Alaska

We have gotten about 2 inches of snow. Temp is about 14+.


36 posted on 03/24/2013 8:06:42 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar
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To: left that other site

Good evening, ML...((HUGS))...just shoveled off the deck and the side of the driveway where I back my car out. Back to work tomorrow.

Did you and Linda have a fun day?

We have a weather advisory 10-18” of snow by early Tuesday. Wanna help shovel?


37 posted on 03/24/2013 8:13:51 PM PDT by Kathy in Alaska (((~RIP Brian...the Coast Guard lost a good one.~)))
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To: ConorMacNessa

TAPS

RIP

CWO James E Groves, III, USA
3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment,
3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division


Amazing Grace

38 posted on 03/24/2013 8:18:28 PM PDT by Kathy in Alaska (((~RIP Brian...the Coast Guard lost a good one.~)))
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To: ConorMacNessa

TAPS

RIP

Spc Derek McConnell, USA
Died 18Mar2013 of Wounds Sustained in Afghanistan 23Jul2011


Amazing Grace

39 posted on 03/24/2013 8:24:47 PM PDT by Kathy in Alaska (((~RIP Brian...the Coast Guard lost a good one.~)))
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To: BIGLOOK

Aloha, BIGLOOK!



Hand Salute To You, My Brother-In-Arms!



It has been some long time since we have spoken, Brother. I hope all goes well with you.








Genuflectimus non ad principem sed ad Principem Pacis!

Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. (Isaiah 49:1 KJV)

40 posted on 03/24/2013 8:24:47 PM PDT by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3/5 Marines RVN 1969 - St. Michael the Archangel defend us in Battle!)
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