Three significant military
transitions, from three wars, deserve mention. Former Army Air Corps Captain, William
Overstreet, Jr., passed away last week. An outstanding World War II fighter pilot,
he's perhaps best remembered for one especially daring, 1944 chase of a German
pilot through the skis of Nazi-occupied Paris.
Attempting to evade Captain Overstreet, the German flew his ME-109
beneath and through the arches of the Eiffel Tower. Undaunted, Overstreet flew through the
low-level archway right behind him, guns firing, and downed the German soon
after. His daring, and successful outcome, is credited with
boosting the morale of the French resistance on the ground. William Overstreet passed away at age 92.
Medal of Honor recipient,
Corporal Rudy Hernandez, has also passed. During a critical battle in the Korean War, in
the midst of heavy direct and indirect fire, Corporal Hernandez charged enemy
forces, with only a rifle and bayonet, dispatching several, understandably, seriously
wounded himself in the effort, but one that allowed his unit to re-occupy
battle-space previously lost. Rudy
Hernandez passed away on December 21st at age 82.
And finally, this past Sunday saw the retirement from military service of South Carolina's Air Guard Command Chief Warrant Officer Eric Seymore, at a ceremony held in Columbia. During the Vietnam War, Chief Seymore flew a total of 900-hours, piloting both Huey and Cobra helicopters, surviving forced landings three times, due to enemy fire. Retiring after 43-years, Chief Seymore finished his military duties as the Command Chief at state headquarters in Columbia, leading the state's 232 warrant officers. Our sincere thanks to South Carolina's Eric Seymore for his over four-decades of distinguished military service to nation and state.