BIGELOW, Elmer Charles

Water Tender 1st Class

USN

 

15 Feb 1945

off Corregidor

 

 

USS FLETCHER (DD-445)

   
 

Medal of Honor citation of Water Tender Second Class Elmer Charles Bigelow :

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving on board the U.S.S. Fletcher during action against enemy Japanese forces off Corregidor Island in the Philippines, 14 February 1945. Standing topside when an enemy shell struck the Fletcher, BIGELOW, acting instantly as the deadly projectile exploded into fragments which penetrated the No. 1 gun magazine and set fire to several powder cases, picked up a pair of fire extinguishers and rushed below in a resolute attempt to quell the raging flames. Refusing to waste the precious time required to don rescue-breathing apparatus, he plunged through the blinding smoke billowing out of the magazine hatch and dropped into the blazing compartment. Despite the acrid, burning powder smoke which seared his lungs with every agonizing breath, he worked rapidly and with instinctive sureness and succeeded in quickly extinguishing the fires and in cooling the cases and bulkheads, thereby preventing further damage to the stricken ship. Although he succumbed to his injuries on the following day, BIGELOW, by his dauntless valor, unfaltering skill and prompt action in the critical emergency, had averted a magazine explosion which undoubtedly would have left his ship wallowing at the mercy of the furiously pounding Japanese guns on Corregidor, and his heroic spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of almost certain death enhanced and sustained the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country."

U.S. Naval Historical Centre Photograph

 

 

 

   

Date: 14 February, 1945.
Place: U.S.S. Fletcher (DD 445)
Cause: Fighting fire in magazine as a result of enemy shell hit.

Name: BIGELOW, Elmer Charles, #725 02 27, WT2c, USN
Diagnosis: SMOKE INHALATION, #2549.
Prognosis: Patient died on 15 February, 1945.
Disposition: DD. Remains sent to Army Burial Service, Subic Bay, Luzon, P.I.

http://corregidor.org/USN/htm/dd445_report.htm

 

courtesy of the USS Fletcher Reunion Group, Inc.

 
 
   

Confirmed

 

 2007 Corregidor Historic Society - all rights reserved

 

 

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