Edward Robert Sellstrom

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Edward Robert Sellstrom
The Navy Cross
Born (1916-07-19)July 19, 1916
Ottawa, Ontario
Died June 21, 1942(1942-06-21) (aged 25)
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch US-NavyReserve-Emblem.svg U.S. Naval Reserve
Rank Ensign
Unit Fighter Squadron 3 (VF-3)

World War II

Awards Navy Cross

Edward Robert Sellstrom (19 July 1916 - 21 June 1942) was a Naval aviator who died while in service with the United States Naval Reserve during World War II.


Edward Robert Sellstrom was born in Ottawa, Ontario. He graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota in 1939.

Navy career[edit]

He enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve as Seaman second class at Minneapolis, Minnesota, on 14 January 1941 and was appointed Aviation Cadet at Pensacola, Florida, on 20 March 1941. On 15 September 1941, he was commissioned Ensign, USNR. After duty in the Advanced Carrier Training Group, U.S. Pacific Fleet, he was assigned to Fighter Squadron 3, on board carrier USS Lexington (CV-2).[1]

Awarded the Navy Cross[edit]

On 20 February 1942, Ensign Sellstrom intercepted an enemy bomber, determinedly pursued it through clouds and rain, and assisted in shooting it down despite heavy machine gun and cannon fire. Later that day, he intercepted and shot down another aircraft during an attack directed at his carrier by nine enemy bombers. As a result of his "skillful marksmanship and courage," he was awarded the Navy Cross. Ensign Sellstrom was killed in an airplane crash on 21 June 1942.[2]


USS Sellstrom (DE-255) was named in his honor. The ship was laid down on 16 March 1943 by the Brown Shipbuilding Company, Houston, Texas; launched on 12 May 1943; sponsored by Miss Genevieve Dahl, fiancé of Ensign Sellstrom; and commissioned on 12 October 1943, Lt. Comdr. William L. Maloney, USCG, in command.[3]


This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.