Hero Highlight – Edwin Fields

Hero Highlight – Edwin Fields

Technical Sergeant Edwin Fields

The men and women who grew up during the Great Depression and served during the Second World War are dubbed the Greatest Generation. The title is fitting for so many different reasons. Many of those reasons deal with the selfless acts these men and women performed, such as serving in the military and securing the home front. To them, defending their country was just the right thing to do.

B-24

Edwin Fields was one of those heroic members of the Greatest Generation. He grew up in Henrico County, Virginia, where he attended Glen Allen High School. Upon graduation, he went to work at Virginia Dairy and DuPont. The call of duty overtook him and he was inducted in January 1943 into the Army Air Corps. He was shipped to Sheppard Field, Texas, which provided not only basic training, but also training for glider mechanics and flight engineers for B-29 Superfortresses. After earning the rank of Technical Sergeant, Edwin was deployed overseas where he served as a gunner on an Eighth Air Force B-24 Liberator bomber.

Telegram alerting the family of Edwin's deathEdwin was an accomplished soldier, having received the Air Medal with an Oak Cluster for ‘extraordinarily meritorious achievement’ in missions over Nazi-occupied Europe. Unfortunately, he did not return home to celebrate his achievements with his family.

On December 28, 1944, just a few days after Christmas, Edwin and the rest of his crew were on a bombing mission over Kaiserslautern, Germany. Once over their initial point of turn, the aircraft took a hit from the enemy. They were about 8 minutes from their target and had the bombs armed and ready to go. The pilot tried using evasive maneuvers to escape the shots but to no avail. A loud explosion erupted from the bomb bay and flames engulfed the plane. The aircraft exploded in mid-air, killing all but 5 of the twelve man crew. Edwin Fields was one of the 7 who lost their lives that day.

At the Virginia War Memorial, we thank and give honor to those Virginia men and women who gave their lives in defense of our freedoms.

Edwin's name in the Shrine of Memory

Edwin’s name in the Shrine of Memory

 

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Kyndall Drumheller