Edward L. Brule, 93, who grew up in Warren and lived here until moving away to Winchester, Ma. some time ago, died on Friday, Dec. 28, leaving behind no immediate family but many nieces, nephews and others in Warren and beyond. Mr. Brule, who grew up in Warren and lived for years at 453 Child St., is the only World War II resident from Warren ever to win two Silver Star medals for gallantry.
“When I think of him, I think of the definition of a hero,” said his nephew, former Barrington Police Chief Charles Brule. “It’s just amazing.”
The Silver Star is awarded for gallantry in action, and young United States Army Sgt. Brule earned his first on April 23, 1943. As part of the Army’s First Division under Major General Terry Allen, he organized and directed machine gun protection for the evacuation of wounded soldiers during a fire fight in Batoum el Kram, Tunisia, while under heavy enemy machine gun fire. A newspaper clipping alludes to his nonchalance about the award, referring to a letter he wrote to his parents after earning the medal:
“I won a Silver Star and I sent it home,” he wrote to family back in Warren. “I hope you get it.”
His next Silver Star came much later, during the Battle of the Rhineland in Germany. As a heavy weapons gunner, he and his fellow soldiers were pinned down along the banks of a river by German machine gun fire when he decide to flank the enemy. Wading through the shallowest part of the river and evading fire, he finally flanked the Germans’s position and took out their post with two grenades, eliminating the threat to his fellow soldiers.
The two Silver Stars weren’t his only medals in the war, in which he served in Algeria/Morocco, Tunisia, Sicily, Normandy, Northern France and the Rhineland. He also earned the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, American Defense Service Medal, European African Middle Eastern Campagin Ribbon with four stars, and Combat Infantry Badge.
After the war, he married and later moved to Winchester, though he was always a familiar face at family picnics and clambakes here in Warren.
Though he didn’t often talk about his war experiences, his nephew Charles Brule said he spoke with him over the summer about his service and was able to coax some facts out of him. He also warned his uncle that he might tell others one day of his heroism:
“I think he just felt that it was behind him,” said Mr. Brule. “But he said he didn’t have a problem with me talking about it after he was gone, not at all.”