Brookhaven Eagle Scout wins 2022 Project of the Year

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Brookhaven Eagle Scout John Kelly Perkins has been awarded the 2022 Eagle Scout Project of the Year, Andrew Jackson Council of Boy Scouts of America. The award was presented at the 61st annual Eagle Scout Recognition Dinner at the Country Club of Jackson, Friday, Feb. 3.

Perkins discovered the story of Read Admiral Hiram Cassedy, a Brookhaven native, who captained the USS Searaven during World War II. In 1941, then-Lt. Commander Cassedy and his crew rescued 35 Australian aviators and meteorologists from the island of Timor following the Japanese invasion.

They extracted all 35 stranded Australians, most of whom were emaciated and ill, using the cover of darkness and a damaged dingy. The rescue was heralded as one of the more heroic rescues of the Pacific Theater.

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With the cooperation of his troop, the Lincoln County Historical and Genealogical Society Museum, the veterans and families of those who were rescued, and Cassedy’s family and former sailors, Perkins designed and developed a memorial honoring Adm. Cassedy and his troops.

This display honoring the hometown hero can be seen at the LCHGS Museum on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.