Fall River War Hero’s Incredible Story of ‘Devotion’ Comes to the Big Screen
Over the decades, Fall River has been home to numerous natives who have made a significant difference in the world.
One hometown hero is now being recognized on the big screen.
Decorated U.S. Navy Capt. Thomas J. Hudner, born in Fall River, graduated high school from Phillips Academy in Andover in 1939 and, later, the U.S Naval Academy. While he was inspired to join the military during World War II, he never got to serve.
Instead, his destiny awaited in another war.
Devotion, a film set for release Nov. 22, tells the story of Hudner and Jesse Brown. On Dec. 4, 1950, while fighting in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War, Brown’s aircraft, an F4U Corsair, was shot down by Chinese troops and he crashed behind enemy lines on a snowy mountain in freezing temperatures.
Hudner intentionally crash-landed his plane in an attempt to save Brown.
Hudner doused the flames of Brown’s Corsair using snow. He stayed with Brown until a rescue chopper arrived. Eventually, the helicopter was forced to take Hudner away, leaving behind Brown’s body.
Not only was Hudner a SouthCoast native, but he was also the first American to be awarded the Medal of Honor for service in the Korean War by President Harry S. Truman.
He died in 2017 at 93 years old. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
The film, directed by J.D. Dillard, stars Jonathan Majors as Brown and Glen Powell as Hudner. It will be released exclusively in theaters and is rated PG-13.
Keep an eye out for this big story with a local connection soon.