The Austin Fire Department origins date back to the late 1850′s. Since then, numerous AFD firefighters have fought in all branches of the US military during our nation’s wars. More than a hand full of these men were killed in action as far back as the Civil War. One of Austin’s leading merchants who helped John Bremond, Sr. organize Hook and Ladder #1 in 1857 was named Robert J. Lambert. Lt. R.J. Lambert was in the Tom Green Rifles, which was Austin’s contingent to Hood’s Brigade in the Civil War. Lt. Lambert was killed in the war between the states along with several other members of the old volunteer Austin Fire Department.
In WWI, 10-15 Austin firefighters enlisted in the US military. Fortunately, none of them were killed.
Over 20 Austin firefighters either quit or took leaves of absence in order to fight in WWII. During that time, four Austin Fire Fighters were killed in action. After the War, a pecan tree was planted and a plaque was placed at each of the fire stations that these men worked their respective positions. For most of them, these plaques are the only permanent markers that they have on US soil. Earl Summerrow of Fire Station #1 is listed as buried or lost at sea, while Clarence Doherty of Fire Station #7 is buried in a US war cemetery in Tunisia, North Africa.
The Austin Fire Department also had one of its own killed in Vietnam.
The following is the list of the men and the stations that they worked and are honored:
Seth Glasscock, R.C.A.F.
June 20, 1942
Fire Station 6
Clarence R. Doherty, US Army paratrooper
April 3, 1943
Fire Station 7
2nd Lt. Pickney Seiders, US Army
Fire Station 10
Lance Corporal Morris Dwaine New
Vietnam, May 24, 1967
Fire Station 8
The Austin Fire Department and the people of the United States are eternally grateful for their service and ultimate sacrifice.