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Edward G. Wilkin- A Longmeadow Hero
by Linda Abrams- Curator, Longmeadow Historical Society- May 2011

On March 18, 1945, CPL Edward G Wilkin, C Company, 157th Infantry Regiment of the 45th Thunderbird Division, alone stormed fortifications on the Siegfried Line and managed to penetrate the line clearing away for C Company.  Later that night, without rest, he began evacuating wounded soldiers under heavy mortar and artillery bombardments, which he continued for two days. On April 18, 1945, less than a month prior to the cease-fire, he was killed by a sniper.

Meanwhile, recognition of his extraordinary heroics had advanced through channels and on September 8, 1945 he was posthumously approved for the Congressional Medal of Honor.  A ceremony at the Longmeadow Community House on January 13, 1946 placed the Medal of Honor around the neck of his four-year old son, Robert J. Wilkin.  The remains of CPL Edward G. Wilkin at long last arrived in Longmeadow on Memorial Day 1948 to a large funeral and parade where General Omar N. Bradley was the honored speaker. The procession then followed to his final resting place in Longmeadow Cemetery.

 

Two streets in Longmeadow carry his name- Wilkin Drive and Edward Circle. His memory is also continuously honored by townspeople who remember him, those who remember the ceremony in 1948, and his two grandsons and their families.


Check back to the Town Crier Archive often to read new articles as they are posted.


Longmeadow Historical Society

697 Longmeadow Street
Longmeadow, MA 01106
(413) 567-3600
LongmeadowHS@gmail.com
 
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