Edwin Pumroy - Major
- Silver Star
Major Edwin Charles Pumroy died on his 37th birthday while leading a patrol near Champenoux, France on September 22, 1944. He had just earned the Silver Star just barely a week before his death.
Edwin was born September 9, 1907 to Levi J. Pumroy and Sarah Simmons. He grew up in Ottumwa, Iowa.
Edwin graduated from Iowa State in 1931 in Mechanical Engineering. While in college, he was a member of the Ausonia fraternity and the Scabbard and Blade honorary military organization. Friends in Ames called him "Red."
He had become a second lieutenant in the Engineering reserves on December 20, 1930. Just after he graduated, he married Zinabell Dixson on June 15, 1931 at the "Little Brown Church" in Nashua, Iowa. They had a son, Thomas F. Pumroy, who was 14 months old at the time of his death.
Edwin worked for a time at the Babcock and Wilcox Steam Boiler Company in Chicago before he was called to duty January 20, 1941, at Fort Riley in Kansas. Prior to this, he was promoted to First Lieutenant on March 5, 1934.
While in active service, he became a captain on June 20, 1941 and made major on October 12, 1942 while at Camp Claiborne in Louisiana. After the war, his body was returned to the United States and buried at the Ames Municipal Cemetery on December 21, 1948.
"For gallantry in action in the ::::: [Vire] River sector near ::::: [St. Lo? or Torigni Sur Vire?] on 15 September 1944 [August 2, 1944?].
While coordinating an assault river crossing, Major Pumroy, Commanding Officer, 60th Engineer Combat Battalion, made and extensive personal reconnaissance for a fording site in the face of observed enemy fire. By first lowering the river level by opening locks, then remaining in the river to guide leading elements around deep holes which he had discovered at the fording site, he ensured the successful completion of the assault crossing. He was killed in action seven days later while leading a patrol in enemy territory. Major Pumroy's aggressive personal leadership, initiative, resourcefulness and utter disregard for personal safety reflect credit upon his character as an officer and are in accord with the highest military traditions of the United States."
Further information on the 60th Engineer Combat Battalion in WWII can be found here: http://www.coulthart.com/134/60-uh.htm