*CARSWELL, HORACE S., JR.
Rank and organization: Major, 308th
Bombardment Group, U.S. Army Air Corps. Place and date: Over South China Sea, 26
October 1944. Entered service at: San Angelo, Tex. Birth: Fort Worth,
Tex. G.O. No.: 14, 4 February 1946.
He piloted a B-24 bomber in a one-plane strike against a Japanese convoy in the South
China Sea on the night of 26 October 1944. Taking the enemy force of 12 ships escorted by
at least 2 destroyers by surprise, he made 1 bombing run at 600 feet, scoring a near miss
on 1 warship and escaping without drawing fire. He circled. and fully realizing that the
convoy was thoroughly alerted and would meet his next attack with a barrage of
antiaircraft fire, began a second low-level run which culminated in 2 direct hits on a
large tanker. A hail of steel from Japanese guns, riddled the bomber, knocking out 2
engines, damaging a third, crippling the hydraulic system, puncturing 1 gasoline tank,
ripping uncounted holes in the aircraft, and wounding the copilot; but by magnificent
display of flying skill, Maj. Carswell controlled the plane's plunge toward the sea and
carefully forced it into a halting climb in the direction of the China shore. On reaching
land, where it would have been possible to abandon the staggering bomber, one of the crew
discovered that his parachute had been ripped by flak and rendered useless; the pilot,
hoping to cross mountainous terrain and reach a base. continued onward until the third
engine failed. He ordered the crew to bail out while he struggled to maintain altitude.
and, refusing to save himself, chose to remain with his comrade and attempt a crash
landing. He died when the airplane struck a mountainside and burned. With consummate
gallantry and intrepidity, Maj. Carswell gave his life in a supreme effort to save all
members of his crew. His sacrifice. far beyond that required of him, was in keeping with
the traditional bravery of America's war heroes.