Pearl Harbor survivor Ervin Schmidt named grand marshal of Edmonds July 4th parade

Ervin Schmidt
Ervin Schmidt

A highly decorated U.S. Navy veteran who survived Pearl Harbor will serve as the 2013 Grand Marshal of “An Edmonds Kind of Fourth” Parade, sponsored by the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce. Edmonds resident Ervin Schimdt is a member of the Edmonds-based Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8870.

Schmidt was a 25-year-old barber from Marshfield, Wisc. when he enlisted in the Navy in August 1940. After completing basic training, Schmidt was assigned to the battleship USS California and participated in numerous training cruises in the Pacific Ocean. In December 1941, the USS California was docked in what has become known as “battleship row” at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu.

When the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor occurred at a few minutes before 8 a.m. on Dec. 7, 1941, Schmidt was asleep in his bunk several levels below the main deck as the first of two torpedoes struck the California. One of his bunk mates was killed instantly by the blast. Dazed by the attack, Schmidt and several of his bunk mates tried to make their way to their battle stations. They were overcome by smoke and fumes on the second deck, and survived only because shipmates carried them to the main deck where the fresh air revived them. After a second torpedo struck, the ship began to list and the Captain issued the order to abandon ship.

Schmidt was on the main deck and chose to remain with three of his shipmates, who could not swim. They were the only remaining personnel on the ship, and they manned a 50-caliber anti-aircraft gun to fire at the attacking Japanese planes. Late in the afternoon, he and his three friends were evacuated and shortly thereafter, the USS California sunk. Of the 1,500 men assigned to the USS California, over 200 of them were killed in the attack.

You can read more about Schmidt here, as he was honored during Edmonds’ 2012 Memorial Day ceremony.

With an over 100-year tradition, “An Edmonds Kind of 4th” kicks off a summer full of family and community centered activities. “An Edmonds Kind of 4th” features a 5K fun run, Children’s Parade, Main Parade and evening mini-concert and fireworks. The Hazel Miller Foundation continues as a long-term partner and named sponsor of “An Edmonds Kind of 4th.”

An Edmonds Kind of 4th 2013 Schedule

10 a.m., 5K Fun Run, Edmonds City Park, 3rd & Walnut

11:30 a.m., Children’s Parade presented by Windermere Real Estate – Edmonds, Downtown Edmonds

Noon, Main Parade, Downtown Edmonds

2:30 p.m., Edmonds Firefighters Waterball Competition, City Park, 3rd Ave. S & Pine

4 p.m., SeaWolves Soccer, Edmonds-Woodway High School Stadium, 7600 212th St. S.W.

7:30 p.m., evening entertainment and food vendors, Civic Field, 6th & Bell

10 p.m., fireworks display, Civic Field, 6th & Bell

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