I’ve written about this Medal of Honor recipient before. Capt. Thomas J. Hudner was a Navy pilot in Korea and was awarded the Medal of Honor for his attempt to save his wingman, Ensign Jesse L. Brown.
It was during the famous Marine Corps Battle of The Chosin Reservoir. Ensign Brown’s fighter was hit and crash landed in hills around the reservoir in enemy held territory.
Brown was the first African American Navy pilot and he and Hudner had become close friends. Hudner, circling above his downed friend, could see that Brown was still alive and that his plane was beginning to burn. Hudner made the extreme decision to crash land his own plane near Brown’s and to go to his aid.
Helicopter rescue teams came to help, but they were unable to extract Brown from the mangled wreckage of his plane and save him. Brown’s last words to Hudner were, “Tell my wife I love her.” Both men have had new Navy warships named after them in recent years.
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This video took place at Hudner’s house in Concord, Massachusetts. An entire unit of U.S. Navy personnel marched up the street before his house on his birthday and honored him in song with Happy Birthday and the Navy Anthem.
It is a beautiful tribute to a good man and a true hero. Hudner died this past November 13, 2017.
The Veterans Site honors the memory of Capt. Thomas J. Hudner and thanks the Navy unit that showed up at his house on his birthday to honor him.
Fair Winds and Following Seas!
Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site Blog.