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Henry "Red" Erwin

Jefferson County native Henry "Red" Erwin (1921-2002) was an airman in World War II, flying with the 52nd Bombardment Squadron. He flew on multiple mission before his military service was cut short by injuries sustained when a flare failed to leave the plane, igniting and forcing Erwin to grab it and throw it from a window. His bravery, and the horrific burns he suffered, earned him the Medal of Honor in 1945. The U.S. Air Force created the "Staff Sgt. Henry E. Erwin Outstanding Enlisted Aircrew Member Airman of the Year Award" in 1995 in his honor.
Courtesy of the United States Air Force