Just before Thanksgiving of this year an anonymous donor left a box of World War II era medals at the Hospice Store in Greenwood, SC. No one at the store knows who brought in the medals but when they noticed a name, Lt. Comdr. John E. Muldrow USN (class of 1937), engraved on one of the medals, one of the employees decided to “google” the name on the internet. Her search quickly found the name on the Clemson University Scroll of Honor Memorial (SOHM) website. She reached out to Clemson Alumni through a contact email listed on the website. Commander Dave Lyle, USN Retired, a member of The Clemson Corps alumni group has been researching the heroes on the SOHM for 10 years. He contacted Ms. Kim Mays, the manager at the Hospice Store, to determine what they wanted to do with the medals. The medals included the Navy Cross (second in precedence only to the Medal of Honor), two Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Air Medals, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal. It was later discovered LCDR Muldrow was actually awarded 5 Air Medals.
Ms. Mays said they wanted to find a home for the medals, preferably descendants or family members who are still living. CDR Lyle contacted a colleague, Brigadier General Charles King, USAF Retired, who had done a lot of research for the Clemson Scroll of Honor alumni profile of LCDR Muldrow since they were both from Bishopville, SC. He had been in touch with several members of the Muldrow family in 2013 as he was researching both LCDR John E. Muldrow, Jr. and his first cousin SGT Henry G. Muldrow, Jr. (class of 1938), US Army Air Force. Most of BGen King’s Muldrow family contacts have passed away, but he was able to find family members in New Mexico, Texas and South Carolina. One of the surviving family members is John Ellison Muldrow, whose father, a cousin of LCDR Muldrow, named his son after the fallen Commander. BGen King plans to give the medals to the LCDR’s namesake in New Mexico, with the request that Mr. Muldrow will lend them temporarily to the Lee County Veterans Museum in Bishopville for special events.
LCDR John Muldrow was killed in action on May 9, 1945 near the end of his second combat tour in the Pacific when his PB4Y-2 Privateer four-engine patrol bomber was shot down during an attack on Japanese held Marcus Island. LCDR Muldrow’s first cousin, SGT Henry G. Muldrow, Jr., was killed during a bombing raid over Germany in February 1945 and is buried at the Ardennes American Military Cemetery in Belgium.
We want to thank Ms. Mays and everyone else at the Hospice Store for their initiative in finding out more about the hero who earned these medals and in doing so preserving a little part of history.
You can learn more about LCDR Muldrow on the Clemson Scroll of Honor Memorial website at
https://soh.alumni.clemson.edu/scroll/john-ellison-muldrow-jr/. You can also learn about other Clemson heroes at https://soh.alumni.clemson.edu/.