1945 - Elmer Charles Bigelow, Medal of Honor Recipient

Hebron HistoryMedal of Honor recipient Elmer Charles Bigelow, (July 12, 1920 – February 15, 1945) , who died saving his ship in World War II was born and raised in Hebron. On February 14, 1945, Bigelow's actions averted tragedy on board the USS Fletcher. While assisting minesweeping operations prior to landings on Manila Bay's Corregidor Island, the USS Fletcher was hit by an enemy shell which penetrated the No. 1 gun magazine, igniting several powder cases.

Elmer C. BigelowBigelow picked up a pair of fire extinguishers and rushed below in a resolute attempt to quell the raging flames. Refusing to waste the precious time required to don rescue-breathing apparatus, Bigelow plunged through the blinding smoke billowing out of the magazine hatch and dropped into the blazing compartment.

Despite the acrid, burning powder smoke which seared his lungs, Bigelow succeeded in quickly extinguishing the fires and in cooling the cases and bulkheads, thereby preventing further damage to the ship, and saving lives.

However Bigelow was badly injured and succumbed to his injuries the following day. Bigelow is buried at Linn-Hebron Cemetery southwest of town.


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