Welcome to Their Finest Hour
NOTICE TO READERS – NEW BLOG LOCATION!!! Their Finest Hour has relocated to its own domain effective March 17, 2014! This page will no longer feature new posts. Just click this banner to be redirected to the new site. All content will remain here at the original location, but also has been migrated to the new site. To all my readers, thank you for all of your support and we'll see you over at the new site!
Sunday, October 14, 2012
TFH 10/14: First Lieutenant Edward R. Schowalter, Jr., USA
Edward Rightor Schowalter, Jr. was born on Christmas Eve, 1927 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He came to earn a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army via ROTC at the Virginia Military Institute, from which he graduated with the class of 1951.
He quickly received a promotion to First Lieutenant, and was sent to fight in the Korean War with the 1st Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment and the 7th Infantry Division. Sixty years ago today on October 14, 1952, Schowalter led his rifle platoon forward through intense enemy opposition, and repeatedly ignored his own wounds and safety to inspire his men to victory. He later received our Nation's highest honor for his gallantry in action.
From Medal of Honor Recipients from the Korean War:
SCHOWALTER, EDWARD R., JR.
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company A, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Kumhwa, Korea, 14 October 1952. Entered service at: Metairie, La. Born: 24 December 1927, New Orleans, La. G.O. No.: 6, 28 January 1954. Citation: 1st Lt. Schowalter, commanding, Company A, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and indomitable courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. Committed to attack and occupy a key-approach to the primary objective, the 1st Platoon of his company came under heavy vicious small-arms, grenade, and mortar fire within 50 yards of the enemy-held strongpoint, halting the advance and inflicting several casualties. The 2d Platoon moved up in support at this juncture, and although wounded, 1st Lt. Schowalter continued to spearhead the assault. Nearing the objective he was severely wounded by a grenade fragment but, refusing medical aid, he led his men into the trenches and began routing the enemy from the bunkers with grenades. Suddenly from a burst of fire from a hidden cove off the trench he was again wounded. Although suffering from his wounds, he refused to relinquish command and continued issuing orders and encouraging his men until the commanding ground was secured and then he was evacuated. 1st Lt. Schowalter's unflinching courage, extraordinary heroism, and inspirational leadership reflect the highest credit upon himself and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service.
Schowalter recovered from his wounds suffered during his Medal of Honor action and continued to serve in the Army. He retired as a Colonel in 1977, and received both the Silver Star and the Legion of Merit for his service during the Vietnam War. Colonel Schowalter passed away at age 75 on November 21, 2003. He rests in peace at the Fort Benning Post Cemetery located within Fort Benning, Georgia.
1-31 Infantry is currently inactive. The 7th Infantry Division was just recently reactivated at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state.