Edward Simons Fulmer

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Edward Simons Fulmer (born in East Syracuse, New York, on April 16, 1919) is a former officer and pilot of the United States Army Air Forces. Fulmer is one of the few living knights of the Dutch Military William Order.

Military career[edit]

Second Lieutenant Fulmer was one of the pilots who descended with gliders in Operation Market Garden. During battles of the 82nd Airborne Division in the area of Nijmegen from September 17 until October 4, 1944, Lt. Fulmer, in the words of the royal order, "distinguished himself in battle by committing the following excellent acts of bravery, planning and loyalty:

On September 18, 1944, he served as second pilot of a Douglas C-47 during the air raid in the Netherlands, also known as operation 'Market Garden'. The airplane of Lieutenant Fulmer, carrying an entire unit of parachute troops and an amount of very explosive substances, was heavily damaged by defensive fire from the Wehrmacht, which caused the pilot to lose consciousness and caused a heavy fire. Taking over the wheel of the machine, he stood firmly at his post, while parachute troops and the crew could save themselves by jumping out of the plane. Despite serious burns to the face, neck, back, and arms, he managed to place the machine on the land[1] in an heroic attempt to save the unconscious pilot's life. Lieutenant Fulmer showed extraordinary heroism during this act and did not take his own safety into account."[2]

Knighthood[edit]

On October 17, 1946, by Royal Decree, Fulmer was knighted by Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, receiving the fourth class (Knight) of the Military William Order. The Order is the highest and oldest military honour of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, bestowed for "performing excellent acts of Bravery, Leadership and Loyalty in battle".[3] The award is comparable to the British Victoria Cross and seldom awarded. As of December 2014, Fulmer is one of only five knights still living.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ The original Dutch text uses the word for "land" and not the Dutch word for "ground".
  2. ^ Original Dutch text on www.onderscheidingen.nl
  3. ^ Military order of William - Official website