Newspaper clipping from the Antelope Valley Ledger Gazette, Thursday May 10, 1945
Sgt. Fred J. Foote was recovering from being wounded in a fire-fight in New Guinea when he got the word that his brother "Bud" had been killed in a Japanese ambush on July 20, 1944. Fred had been shot in the left hand -- a wound not considered bad enough to send him home (but enough to earn him his first Purple Heart) -- and his unit was preparing for the invasion of the Philippines in October. He would miss his fallen brother for the rest of his life, and visited his grave in Hawaii whenever he could over the years.
Airman Edward "Bud" Foote
Edward "Bud" Foote enlisted in Los Angeles in March of 1942...just 7 months before his younger brother. While Fred had later joined the famed 1st Cavalry Division, Bud wanted to be a pilot and joined the Army Air Corps as a Private...he eventually attained the rank of 2nd Lieutenant with the 5307th Composite Unit, more popularly known as MERRILL'S MARAUDERS as a C-47 pilot.
"Merrill's Marauder" Edward "Bud" Foote
Though they were only operational for 6 months, their exploits in Burma under impossible odds and horrible conditions are legendary. Their battles against the enemy's superior forces as well as struggles against constant torrential downpours, hunger and disease (which took more of their lives than the Japanese did) were noted when the unit was awarded a Distinguished Service Citation in recognition of their heroism. Bud Foote (and each soldier in the unit) also received The Bronze Star...though his was posthumous, and was accompanied by a Purple Heart.
Bronze Star and Purple Heart service medals
I'm certain those reading this until now have never heard of Lt. Edward G. Foote, but he gave his life in the service of our country back in July of 1944, and was a hero in the very true sense of the word.
Remember him the next time you watch an episode of Steve Canyon, for his brother, who also was a hero during WWII...
Corporal Frederick J. Foote at Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas 1943
(aka Dean Fredericks, star and namesake of STEVE CANYON)
But that's a story we are saving for Steve Canyon Volume 3.
Remembering our Veterans and fallen service men and women on Memorial Day 2011.