PFC Edby Marshall Colvin

PFC Edby Marshall Colvin

Plateau, Mobile County, Alabama, USA
Death 4 Jun 1942 (aged 23)
At Sea
Cenotaph Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA
Plot Courts of the Missing
Memorial ID 56127385 · View Source
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Ellie Grace Colvin and Mattie E. Norwood were married on 15 April 1911 in Mobile county, AL. They were the parents of at least seven children; Earl Alexander, Edna Mae, Edby Marshall, Ruby, Kathleen, Melba and Betty June Colvin.

Edby M. Colvin enlisted on 09 Jun 1941 in the USMarine Corps (311250). In July 1941 Colvin was in the Fourth Recruit Battalion at the Recruit Depot, Marine Corps Base (MCB), San Diego undergoing recruit training. By Jan 1942 Private Colvin had completed recruit training and had been assigned to the Aircraft Engineering Squadron Twenty-Four, BAD-2, NAS, San Diego. On 15 Jan he was assigned temp duty to the Aviation Machinist's Mates' School at the Naval Training School (Avn), Naval Reserve Armory, Chicago, IL. Upon completion of the training he was transferred by S/RS to AirEngrSq-22. On 8 Mar 1942 Private Colvin sailed aboard the USS Wharton (AP-7) from San Diego to Pearl Harbor, T.H. Prior to 01 April 1942 Private Colvin was promoted to Private First Class. On 11 April PFC Colvin embarked on the USS William Ward Burrows (AP-6), sailed on 12 April from the Navy Yard, Pearl Harbor, T.H. and arrived on 17 April and disembarked at Midway. A footnote in the April muster report seemed to indicate that he had enlisted on 09 May 1941 vice 09 Jun 1941.

PFC Colvin was a gunner aboard an SB2U-3 Dive Bomber piloted by 2nd Lt James H. Marmande, USMCR in a unit of VMSB-241 commanded by Maj. Benjamin W. Norris. Early in the morning of 04 Jun 1942 Marine Air elements from Midway launched to attack the Japanese Striking Force approaching Midway. After a relatively uneventful flight toward their targets the Marine Dive Bombers encountered fierce Japanese fighter and anti aircraft resistance as they neared the Japanese fleet and began their attacks. After completing his attack, Lt Marmande was able to escape the swarming fighters and headed back toward Midway in company with Lt Ramlo. Then within 10 miles of Midway Lt Marmande's aircraft simply "disappeared." No trace of the plane or its crew were ever found. PFC Colvin was declared missing in action on 04 Jun 1942 and presumed dead on 05 Jun 1943. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Purple Heart and the Presidential Unit Citation.

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross (Posthumously) to Private First Class Edby Marshall Colvin (MCSN: 311250), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as a Radioman-Gunner in Marine Scout-Bombing Squadron TWO HUNDRED FORTY-ONE (VMSB-241), during the Battle of Midway, 4 and 5 June 1942. In a determined attack against the invading Japanese Fleet, Private Colvin, serving as rear-seat free machine-gunner, maintained fire in the face of overwhelming enemy fighter opposition and fierce anti-aircraft barrage. Because of circumstances attendant upon this engagement, there can be little doubt that he gallantly gave up his life in the service of his country. His courage and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 311 (February 1943)

Presidential Unit Citation - Marine Air Group 22
"For conspicuous courage and heroism in combat at Midway Island during June 1942. Outnumbered five to one, Marine Aircraft Group 22 boldly intercepted a heavily escorted enemy bombing force, disrupting their attack and preventing serious damage to island installations. Operating with half of their dive-bomber's obsolete and in poor mechanical conditions, which necessitated vulnerable glide bombing tactics, they succeeded in inflicting heavy damage on Japanese surface units of a large enemy task force. The skill and gallant perseverance of flight and ground personnel of Marine Aircraft Group 22, fighting under tremendously adverse and dangerous conditions were essential factors in the unyielding defense of Midway."

[bio compiled by G47]

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Gravesite Details Entered the service from Missouri.

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  • Maintained by: Rick Lawrence
  • Originally Created by: CWGC/ABMC
  • Added: 6 Aug 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 56127385
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for PFC Edby Marshall Colvin (19 Mar 1919–4 Jun 1942), Find A Grave Memorial no. 56127385, citing Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA ; Maintained by Rick Lawrence (contributor 47207615) .