In breathing spells during their mission of spotting Jap 155 mm. guns which had been pounding our positions, First Lieut. Robert C. Jackson of St. Louis, Mo., and Second Lieut. C.J. Echterling of Lowell, Indiana, pilot and observer of the Grasshopper, improvised a primitive dive-bombing technique.
Nosing low over an enemy building or emplacement, they would smack their targets simply by tossing mortar shells over the side -- Lieut. Echterling holding the shells until Jackson yelled "Let 'er go!"
Across the reefs, where the big boys were doing a pin-point job on Jap positions, they could see a column of smoke curling 1,000 feet high. But the Grasshopper guys weren't offended-they were too proud of the little smoke column they were kicking up.
Lieutenant Echterling's decorations were awarded for meritorious achievement in aerial flight as an aerial observer of the Eighth 155mm Artillery Battalion, Third Corps Artillery, Third Amphibious Corps, Fleet Marine force, during operations in the Palau Islands and the Caroline and Ryuku Island area in 1944 and 1945.
Lieutenant Echterling also received a letter of appreciation from the Commandant, United States Marine Corps.
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