Elwood Euart was born in January 1914 in Pawtucket, RI. He was listed as MIA and listed on the Honolulu Memorial Tablet of Missing until 2016, when his remains were recovered and identified.
Elwood J. Euart
Captain, U.S. Army
On 26 October 1942, Captain Elwood Joseph Euart was serving with the 103rd Field Artillery Battalion, 43rd Infantry Division in the South Pacific Area.
On that day, CPT Euartís unit was in action against Japanese forces. He was one of thousands of men aboard the ocean liner SS President Coolidge that was used to transport troops into Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides. As the ship entered the harbor it struck two mines. After the ship was beached, an orderly abandonment allowed 5,340 men to get safely ashore, including CPT Euart. But, when he learned that men were still trapped in the infirmary, he went to their aid. By lashing himself to the lower end of a rope, CPT Euart was able to hold it tight enough for men to climb to safety, although the ship was listing badly. As he finally attempted to climb the rope himself, assisted by a few men at the top, it was hanging almost vertically. As CPT Euart climbed, the ship capsized and sank, sliding down a coral reef before settling. CPT Euartís selfless, courageous actions and extraordinary heroism that day, at the cost of his life, earned him the U.S. Army's second highest award for valor, the Distinguished Service Cross.
Medals and Awards:
Distinguished Service Cross, Purple Heart, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal,
Distinguished Service Cross Citation (Synopsis):
Captain (Field Artillery) Elwood J. Euart (ASN: 0-374388), United States Army, was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with the 103d Field Artillery Battalion, 43d Infantry Division, in action against enemy forces on 26 October 1942. Captain Euart lost his life after helping to save a number of other men at the time of the sinking of the U.S. Army Transport PRESIDENT COOLIDGE. Learning of a group of soldiers trapped in the hold, he went to their assistance. By lashing himself to the lower end of a rope he was able to hold it tight enough for men to climb to safety, even though the ship was listing badly. When he finally attempted to climb the rope himself, assisted by a few men at the top, it was hanging almost vertically. As he climbed, the ship careened and sank. Captain Euart's intrepid actions, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty at the cost of his life, exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 43d Infantry Division, and the United States Army.
General Orders: Headquarters, U.S. Army Forces in the South Pacific Area, General Orders No. 41 (1943)
The remains of Captain Elwood Joseph Euart were recovered by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency and positively identified on 11 May 2016. CPT Euart now rest next to his parents at Saint Francis Cemetery in Pawtucket, Providence County, RI, in Section 3.
Source: Military Hall of Honor