World War II sub chaser goes west

December 11, 2009

Col. Edmond I. “Eddie” Edwards, a Civil Air Patrol sub chaser and the first to spot and report the position of a Nazi U-boat off the U.S. East Coast in 1942, died Dec. 5 at age 96.

Edwards also won an Air Medal for heroism for helping rescue a downed aviator off the Maryland coast and received the award from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt at the White House.

“I was ushered into the Oval Office and decorated by FDR,” Edwards said in a 2006 interview. “Of course, I was honored to receive the medal, and I was also impressed by FDR.”

Edwards joined the U.S. Navy later in the war where he instructed and flew SBD Dauntless dive bombers from a base in Hawaii.

Edwards served 27 years in the reserves, and he ran an FBO and taught flying in his home state of Delaware. Friends said Edwards downplayed his notoriety.

Edwards is survived by his wife, Blanche, a son, and two daughters.