ELBERT S. HEIM, JR., LT, USNR

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Birthdate & Date of Loss

Date of birth: April 8, 1920
Date of death: March 27, 1945
Age: 24

Lucky Bag

Elbert Stewart Heim, Jr., is listed with 195 others below this inscription:

NOT ALL OF US who joined the Class of '43 stayed with us to that one broad stripe. Many fell at the end of plebe year, the casualty list mounted at the end of youngster year and a very few left us when the course was almost run. Reasons were varied and diverse: academic tangles, physical disabilities, civilian leanings.... Many went into civilian occupations, some were drafted, others became flyers and a few volunteered for foreign military service. Some left us early, many stayed for a long while, but none will be forgotten.

According to the Annual Register of the United States Naval Academy 1941-1942 he left on February 1, 1941 because he was “Deficient in studies, first term's work. Recommended to be dropped. Permitted to resign.”

The Class of 1943 was graduated in June 1942 due to World War II. The entirety of 2nd class (junior) year was removed from the curriculum.

Obituary

From Corsicana Semi-Weekly Light from Corsicana, Texas on April 24, 1945

Naval Flyer Is a Reported Missing In Pacific Area

Lieut. Elbert S. Heim, Jr., 26, U. S. navy fighter pilot, is missing in action near Japan, according to a telegram received by his grandparents Mr. and Mrs. W. J. W. Foster of Corsicana, from the parents, Mr. and Mrs. Elbert S. Heim. Sr., Shreveport, La. A graduate of the U. S Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md., [note: this is incorrect] Lt Heim was decorated late in 1943 for the sinking of a Nazi refueling submarine in the Atlantic, and wore a Navy Cross, two Distinguished Flying Crosses and a presidential unit citation. Entering the service in June, 1941, he spent three months at the naval air base at Corpus Christi, Texas, attended the naval air station Pensacoia and Miami, Fla. He received his commission as a naval flier June 30. 1942, and served the remainder of that year on the Pacific Coast, and then serving in the Atlantic area. He returned to the Pacific area in 1944. Lieut. Heim was on duty with the American and Allied contingents when the first landings were effected in North Africa. Lt. Heim served on naval carriers throughout his active tour of duty in both oceans.

He was a member of Fighting Squadron (VF) 82, operating from USS Bennington (CV 20), when he was lost during a raid in support of the invasion of Okinawa (which occurred only four days later).

He was reburied in Louisiana on March 31, 1949. His wife was listed as next of kin.

Navy Cross

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lieutenant [then Lieutenant, Junior Grade] Elbert Stewart Heim, United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Fighter Plane in Composite Squadron NINE (VC-9), attached to the U.S.S. BOGUE (CVE-9), in action against an enemy submarine in the Atlantic Ocean on 4 October 1943. Flying to the support of a bomber which was in contact with four surfaced hostile submarines, Lieutenant Heim commenced firing at a range of two thousand feet and came in through a barrage of deadly cross-fire from the enemy vessels, strafing the largest and most heavily armed submarine until he was within fifty feet of his target. After a skillful second run in which the enemy's anti-aircraft battery was silenced, he vigorously strafed two of the surfaced U-boats, making them easy targets for unopposed bombing attacks which resulted in the probable destruction of one of the hostile vessels. Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Heim's outstanding courage, daring airmanship and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Commander in Chief, Atlantic: Serial 383 (January 29, 1944) & Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 326 (May 1944)
Action Date: October 4, 1943
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant
Company: Composite Squadron 9 (VC-9)
Division: U.S.S. Bogue (CVE-9)

He was piloting a Wildcat fighter at the time.

Distinguished Flying Cross

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Lieutenant, Junior Grade Elbert Stewart Heim, United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight on 12 June 1943, as Pilot of a plane of Navy Composite Squadron NINE (VC-9), when an enemy submarine was sunk. When planes of Composting Squadron NINE depth charged and sank a German submarine in a coordinated attack, Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Heim, in a fighter plane, so accurately and aggressively strafed the enemy submarine that effective anti-aircraft fire was prevented and the submarine was destroyed and its crew captured without damage to the attacking planes. The skillful coordination of strafing with bombing by Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Heim contributed materially to the sinking of this submarine. The airmanship and aggressiveness displayed by Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Heim in this attack reflect great credit upon the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Commander in Chief Atlantic Fleet: Serial 2605 (August 12, 1943)
Action Date: June 12, 1943
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Junior Grade
Company: Composite Squadron 9 (VC-9)
Division: U.S.S. Bogue (CVE-9)

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Elbert Stewart Heim, United States Naval Reserve, for heroism and extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight in operations against the enemy in the vicinity of Kyushu on 19 March 1945. He shot down two enemy planes in aerial combat which were approaching to attack our surface forces. His skill and courage were at all times in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Commander in Chief Pacific: Serial 04493 (July 9, 1945)
Action Date: March 19, 1945
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant


Class Navigation

Class of 1943
Elbert is one of 77 members of the Class of 1943 in Memorial Hall.
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