Son of Frederick Wright Searby & Eleanor Porter Searby.
Husband of Muriel MacLeod Searby whom he married on January 15, 1928 at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
Father of a daughter & twin sons.
Edmund was a West Point graduate, Class of 1918. After graduating from West Point he was assigned as a student to the School of Fire for Field Artillery at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
After completion of that school he went to Camp Zachary Taylor, Kentucky, to attend the Field Artillery Basic School.
He then served in Germany with the 6th Field Artillery, and from there he went to Fontainbleu, France, as a student at L'Ecole d’Artillerie from 1 December 1920 to 31 August 1921.
Again in the United States he served with troops at Fort Hoyle and Fort Myer.
In 1924 he became an instructor in mathematics at the Military Academy. In 1926 he volunteered for flying school; after two months at Brooks Field he was at Fort Sill again as a student in the advanced course of the Field Artillery School.
Later he went to Fort Riley as a student in The Cavalry School. Back at Fort Sill he served as an instructor in the Animal Transport and Gunnery Department of the Field Artillery School.
He again served with troops at Fort Benning commanding a battery in the 83d Field Artillery, and in El Paso, Texas, commanding a battalion in the 82d Field Artillery.
He was promoted to captain in 1934.
In 1940 he graduated from the Command and General Staff School and was promoted to Major.
Edmund was later promoted to Lieutenant Colonel when he was sent to Fort McNair and later promoted to colonel while there.
He was a staff officer in Army Ground Forces when General McNair sent him to the 80th Division in February 1943 as Division Artillery Commander with the rank of brigadier general.
General McNair stated the Edmund "was one of the best artillerymen he had ever known".
At the time of his death, Edmund was serving as the Division Artillery Commander, 80th Infantry Division, U.S. Army.
On September 14, 1944, Brigadier General Edmund W. Searby, Division Artillery Commander, was involved in the Battle of Mousson Hill.
He accompanied attacking front line Infantry. Anxious to take this high terrain feature that was vital for artillery observation, he was the first to reach the summit.
Acting as forward observer, he directed fire missions which caught German forces by surprise and resulted in the complete destruction of two enemy artillery batteries.
Before infantrymen could consolidate their positions, the Nazis counter-attacked in force, supported by heavy concentrations of artillery and mortar fire. An enemy tank plunged as close as 150 yards from where General Searby was urging on hard-pressed troops. After a shell stopped the tank, the crew emerged and sprayed troops with automatic fire.
Disregarding his own safety, General Searby retrieved the rifle dropped by a wounded GI and opened fire on the crew.
It was at this time the General Searby was "Killed In Action" in the ensuing fight. He was awarded the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, and the Purple Heart.
Service # O-012081
Silver Star Awarded:
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Brigadier General Edmund Wilson Searby (ASN: 0-12081), United States Army, for gallantry in action while Commanding Division Artillery, 80th Infantry Division in connection with military operations against an enemy of the United States from 7 August to 14 September 1944 in France. With utter disregard for his own personal safety, Brigadier General Searby continuously subjected himself to all types of enemy fire in order to more effectively supervise artillery missions and to coordinate Infantry-Artillery operations. His continuous presence in the front lines during engagements was a constant inspiration, not only to his artillery liaison officers and forward observers, but also to all front line troops, who, from his example and indomitable spirit, derived additional inspiration and zeal to seek out, close with, and destroy the enemy. It was with the most forward elements of the infantry troops that Brigadier General Searby gave his life while leading in the repulse of an enemy counterattack. His outstanding courage and inspiring leadership exemplified, for the entire Division, the highest ideals of the armed forces of the United States.General Orders: Headquarters, 80th Infantry Division, General Orders No. 95 (December 5, 1944)Action Date: August 7 - September 14, 1944Service: ArmyRank: Brigadier GeneralCompany: Division ArtilleryDivision: 80th Infantry Division.
Legion of Merit Awarded:
Brigadier General Edmund Wilson Searby (ASN: 0-12081), United States Army, was awarded the Legion of Merit (Posthumously) for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States as Commanding Officer, Division Artillery, 80th Infantry Division, from 1943 to 1944.General Orders: Unites States Military Academy Register of GraduatesAction Date: 1943 - 1944Service: ArmyRank: Brigadier GeneralCompany: Division ArtilleryDivision: 80th Infantry Division.
(Award Citations provided by: Dwight "Andy" Anderson)
(Bio by: Dwight "Andy" Anderson & Russell S. "Russ" Pickett)