ELDRIDGE WILLIAM W

COL William W. Eldridge was a potential VHPA member who died after his tour in Vietnam on 11/13/1991 at the age of 69.5
Santa Ana, CA
Date of Birth 04/28/1922
Served in the U.S. Marine Corps
This information was provided by SSN deceased search

More detail on this person: Colonel William W Eldridge, Jr., Navy Cross: WWII Commander, Amphibious Forces in the Pacific Editor's note: This Veterans Day Voice of OC is publishing a series of plaques honoring some of Orange County's most decorated veterans. William Eldridge was born in Hamilton, Ohio?. He received three Distinguished Flying Crosses, a Bronze Star, a Meritorious Achievement Award, three Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry Medals, a Purple Heart, and 28 Air medals. Colonel William W Eldridge, Jr., U.S.M.C. Citation: Navy Cross War: World War II For extraordinary heroism in aerial flight as pilot of a fighter plane in Marine fighter squadron four hundred forty-one in action against enemy Japanese forces during the assault on Okinawa, Shima, Ryukyu Islands on 16 April, 1945, while flying as a member of a twelve-plane combat air patrol Colonel Eldridge, (then a First Lieutenant), and his patrol answered distress calls and located a flight of approximately twenty-five enemy aircraft attempting to destroy a United States Fighter Director ship by suicide attacks. Boldly engaging the hostile formation, he pressed home a determined attack to destroy four planes, thereby aiding materially in repulsing the Japanese attack and saving the ship. His gallant conduct was in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. Who is Eldridge Park's Namesake? By Michael Ekstrom Eldridge Park used to be called Fallbrook Park and was named in 1998 after Colonel William W. Eldridge, a long-time Santa Ana resident whose house stood on land that is part of the park now. Colonel Eldridge was a U.S. Marine Corps fighter pilot who served in World War 2, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. He was highly decorated for numerous wartime accomplishments. He received three Distinguished Flying Crosses, a Bronze Star, a Meritorious Achievement Award, three Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry Medals, a Purple Heart, and 28 Air medals. His highest medal is the Navy Cross, which he received after shooting down four Japanese planes in four minutes during the assault on Okinawa. There is a plaque honoring him at the Orange County Hall of Honor in Civic Center Plaza in Santa Ana. The plaque describes the award for the Navy Cross this way; "For extraordinary heroism in aerial flight as pilot of a fighter plane in Marine fighter squadron four hundred forty one in action against enemy Japanese forces during the assault on Okinawa, Shima, Ryukyu islands on 16 April, 1945, while flying as a member of a twelve plane combat air patrol Colonel Eldridge, (then a First Lieutenant), and his patrol answered distress calls and located a flight of approximately 25 enemy aircraft attempting to destroy a United States Fighter Director ship by suicide attacks, boldly engaging the hostile formation, he pressed home a determined attack to destroy four planes, thereby aiding materially in repulsing the Japanese attack and saving the ship. His gallant conduct was in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service."

Burial information: Santa Ana Cemetery, Santa Ana, CA

This information was last updated 10/25/2017

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Date posted on this site: 09/19/2018


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