Scroll of Honor – Earl Pinckney Furman, Jr.

Lone Ranger

Written by: Kelly Durham

They called themselves the “Long Rangers” because of the vast distances so many of their missions covered.  Flying over the trackless Pacific Ocean, the missions of the 370th Bomb Group lasted as long as seventeen hours.  Terrifying minutes of action dodging enemy anti-aircraft fire and fighter planes were sandwiched between tedious hours spent droning to and from the target area.  Corporal Earl Pinckney Furman, Jr. was a crew member aboard a 370th Group B-24 heavy bomber.

Furman came to Clemson in 1938 from his hometown of Allendale.  A general studies major, he was assigned to E Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Regiment of the Cadet Brigade.  Furman remained at Clemson for two years before transferring to Wofford College.  He left Wofford in March 1943 and volunteered for the Army Air Force.

By this point in the war, Army training facilities were hitting their stride, taking in young men and turning out the trained soldiers and air crewmen needed to prosecute a global war.  Furman was ordered to San Antonio, Texas and then to Sioux Falls, South Dakota for aerial radio operator training.  Following aerial gunnery training at Yuma, Arizona, Furman was awarded aircrew wings.  He shipped out to the Pacific Theater in September 1944 and was assigned to the Long Rangers.

Furman joined the crew of “Tillie,” a B-24D heavy bomber which he served as radio operator and waist gunner.   Furman’s unit, the 372nd Bomb Squadron, was operating from Noemfoor, a small island off the northern coast of New Guinea.  On November 4, Furman was seriously injured in an aircraft accident that resulted in the scrapping of “Tillie.”  Furman’s injuries were significant enough to land him in the hospital, where he died three days later.

Furman was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart.  After the war, his remains were returned to Allendale where he was buried in the Swallow Savannah Cemetery.  He was survived by his parents and sister.

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