Freedom Fighters: Budd Jepson - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

1/18/07- Overton

Freedom Fighters: Budd Jepson

Just imagine trying to survive for an entire week in a life raft surrounded by an angry ocean and hungry sharks. That was what East Texan Budd Jepson faced when his plane went down in the Pacific, November 6, 1944

After thirty bombing missions, Jepson's plane was destroyed by a violent storm on his way to another mission. Two of the crew were killed on impact. Jepson saved the life of one crewmember and helped save the lives of two more.

The five survivors of the crash were packed into a life raft without food, and with little water. After three days at sea, a plane flew over and dropped another life raft, but it was four more days before the men were rescued, malnurished, dehydrated and sunburned. The story of the crew's survival is featured in the book "Warpath Across The Pacific" by Lawrence J. Hickey.

Budd Jepson was awarded a Purple Heart and six Bronze Stasrs for his bravery and service to our country. Jepson now resides in Overton.

Joan Hallmark, Reporting joanhallmark@kltv.com

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