Monday, July 11, 2016

The Last Full Measure

I was on a drive today and stopped off in Henry for a few minutes. While I was there I came across the Cromwell memorial and decided that would make for an interesting story for those who don't know the details.

John Cromwell was born in Henry in 1901. Being a farm boy he naturally gravitated to the Naval academy, graduating from there in 1924 and served initially in the battleship USS Maryland. Between 1927 thru 1929 he served in the submarine S-24.

By world war two he was aboard USS Sculpin as the prospective commander of an American wolf pack. By all respects his star was definitely on the rise.  That all changed on November 19th of 1943. The Sculpin attacked an enemy convoy and during the battle was forced to the surface. The result of the ensuing surface action resulted in the Sculpin being fatally damaged and the surviving crew forced to abandon ship.

However Captain Cromwell, who had survived the battle, was afraid of being captured as he possessed secret details to the upcoming invasion of the Gilbert islands. And so, in an act that earned him a posthumous Medal of Honor, he chose to stay aboard and go down with the ship. Today in a quiet park in a quiet town there's a WW 2 era naval torpedo, a symbol of one man's incredibly heroic act to safeguard the nation he loved so dearly. If you're ever down that way, stop for a moment, take off your hat, and give thanks for men like him who embodied the best that America has to offer.

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If you have a comment or know of a place that would make for a great future article drop me a line. Thanks!