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Thomas J. Hudner, Jr. facts for kids

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Thomas J. Hudner, Jr.
Thomas J. Hudner 2008.jpg
Birth name Thomas Jerome Hudner, Jr.
Nickname(s) "Lou"
Born (1924-08-31)August 31, 1924
Fall River, Massachusetts
Died November 13, 2017(2017-11-13) (aged 93)
Concord, Massachusetts
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch Flag of the United States Navy (unofficial proportions).svg United States Navy
Years of service 1946–1973
Rank Captain
Unit
  • Fighter Squadron 32
  • USS Helena (CA-75)
  • Carrier Division 3
  • Development Squadron 3
  • 60th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron
  • Fighter Squadron 53
  • USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63)
Commands held Training Squadron 24
Battles/wars
Awards Medal of Honor

Thomas Jerome Hudner, Jr. (August 31, 1924 – November 13, 2017) was a retired officer of the United States Navy. He is also a former naval aviator. He rose to the rank of captain. He received the Medal of Honor for his actions trying to save the life of his wingman, Ensign Jesse L. Brown. It was during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War.

Biography

He was born in Fall River, Massachusetts. He was a student at Phillips Academy and the United States Naval Academy. At first he was not interested in aviation, but later he learned to fly and joined Fighter Squadron 32. He flew a F4U Corsair at the start of the Korean War. Arriving near Korea in October 1950, he flew support missions from the USS Leyte.

On 4 December 1950 Hudner and Brown were among a group of pilots on patrol near the Chosin Reservoir. Brown's Corsair was shot by Chinese troops and crashed. In an attempt to save Brown from his burning aircraft, Hudner intentionally crash-landed his own aircraft on a snowy mountain in freezing temperatures to help Brown. In spite of these efforts, Brown died of his injuries and Hudner was forced to leave, having also been injured in the landing.

Later, Hudner served aboard several U.S. Navy ships and with a number of aviation units, including a short time as Executive Officer of the USS Kitty Hawk during the Vietnam War, before retiring in 1973. After retiring, he worked for veterans organizations in the United States. He lived in in Concord, Massachusetts. The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Thomas Hudner is named for him.

Hudner died at his home in Concord, Massachusetts on November 13, 2017 at the age of 93.

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