The remains of the body of Captain Elwood Joseph Euart, Field Artillery, United States Army 1st Battalion, 103rd Field Artillery, Rhode Island National Guard, from Rhode Island USA
, finally received official burial with full military honors at noon last Saturday on Rhode Island.
The remains of his body were removed from the sunken SS President Coolidge off Santo in 2015 just before Tropical Cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu. The remains of his body were repatriated back to the USA this year.
Two important memorial services were held in honour of late Captain Elwood Joseph Euart, on Santo and on Rhode Island in the USA simultaneously last week, as his remains were finally rested amongst his families’ resting place, with the highest funeral and remembrance honors and respect both on Santo and in the USA.
His memorial service was conducted on Santo last week. It was organized by the Elwood Joseph Euart Word War ll Association at his memorial grave stone on the mainland where SS President Coolidge sunk on 26th October 1942. The official memorial service program included VMF Band playing Vanuatu national anthem and the US national anthem, VMF flag raising ceremonies speech, one minute silence, Solo Band members’ the last post, laying of wreaths, prayer and closing speech.
The Chairman of the Elwood Joseph Euart Association, Brad Wood, had the following remarks delivered at the Memorial Service on Santo last week.
“We are here today to honor a very special man. Captain Elwood Joseph Euart, Field Artillery, United States Army 1st Battalion, 103rd Field Artillery, Rhode Island National Guard, from Rhode Island USA.
“1914 to 1942 only 29 years old, he lost his life saving his comrades in the sinking of the SS President Coolidge on October 6th 1942 almost 74 years ago.
“In recognition of his heroism, Captain Euart was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (the nation’s second highest award for valor) also the Purple Heart, and the Rhode Island Cross.
“Captain Euart remained entombed in the President Coolidge for more than 73 years until recovery last year.
“After DNA testing of his remains were conclusively identified as Elwood Euart, we have been in contact with Paul Vallee, one of Elwood’s nephews and he advised that Captain Euart was returned to Rhode Island at noon last Saturday, August 27th on a flight from Hawaii via Atlanta.”