On a sunny and windy hillside in Madison, Florida one can find the final resting place of Captain Colin P. Kelly, Jr, the first hero of World War II. He was the pilot of a B17 bomber that attacked Japanese military ships shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. As he was returning to Clark Field in the Philippine Islands his aircraft took enemy fire and Captain Kelly ordered his crew to bailout of the plane. He held his B17 steady until all were out, but there was no time for him. When America needed a hero they got one. A young man from Madison, Florida who is buried in the Oakridge Cemetery on the north side of town. His tombstone reads:
CAPT. COLIN PURDIE KELLY, JR.
JULY 11, 1915 DECEMBER 9, 1941
19th BOMBARDMENT SQUADRON
U.S. ARMY AIR CORPS
KILLED IN COMBAT
2 MILES NORTH-EAST OF CLARK FIELD, PHILIPPINE ISLANDS
On Memorial Day may we honor and remember all those who have given their lives to maintain freedom--they are all heroes!!