May 30, 2010

How Did They Do What They Did?

Considering that tomorrow is Memorial day it is worth considering the sacrifices that have been made by people serving our country. As you may know Swede Farm is named after our Uncle Arvid. A customer of ours brought back to my attention the biography of him that we have posted on our website. I went back and read through it. We tend to forget what things say as time renders our memory stale. Anyway I was clicking through links I had posted and noticed a link to a copy of the commendation for the HL Edwards on which Arvid served during WWII. Here is the text from the Secretary of the Navy:
“For outstanding heroism in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Saipan-Tinian operations, June 12 to August 2, 1944; Palau, September 6 to 29, 1944; the Battle of Surigao Strait, October 24–25, 1944; Iwo Jima, February 14 to March 9, 1945; and Okinawa, March 21 to April 18, 1945. Operating in the face of continued and persistent air attacks throughout five major campaigns, the U.S.S. HEYWOOD L. EDWARDS blasted Japanese shore emplacements, screened our attacking transports and effectively laid support barrages for amphibious assaults. On the night of 23–24 September, while on patrol duty, she detected a column of fourteen Japanese barges attempting to reinforce the Palau garrison and aided in destroying the whole group with its 650 enemy troops. During the Historic Battle of Surigao Strait, she gallantly led Section Three of Destroyer Squadron FIFTY-SIX in a coordinated night torpedo attack against the enemy’s Southern Force and rendered invaluable assistance in the utter defeat of these hostile units. In retiring, she made a thorough search of the Battle area and aided in sinking a crippled Japanese destroyer. At Iwo Jima she furnished continuous fire support for eleven days and during the Okinawa assault, spent 128 days on fire support and radar picket stations, conducting 350 bombardment missions. When several enemy aircraft attacked her fire support group, she scored direct hits on three of the planes and assisted in destroying a fourth, all within ninety seconds. Superbly handled by valiant officers and men, the HEYWOOD L. EDWARDS rendered distinctive service, sustaining and enhancing the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”
Our Uncles portion of this was as a torpedo man. The original of this commendation, that Arvid received, is framed in our living room along with other reminders of his service. I often think about what he did and am fairly convinced that I would not be able to do what he did.

1 comment:

Steve and April said...

I often wonder that when thinking back on our ancestors ... not just those in the military ... but also those that built up farms or other businesses from nothing, who lived in much more primitive situations than I'd want to live. It is good to remember and honor the sacrifices they all made.

Welcome to the Crew! I'm looking forward to working with you. :-D