Dad He didnÂ’t tell me much about his activities in the Navy. I used to sit in his lap as a tiny girl. I was fascinated by the pretty ribbons he wore on his uniform jacket. I asked him what the nice pink one was for. He told me it was for attending Sunday School every week while at Annapolis! (It was the Legion of Merit!) Mother gave me most of my information, and she was a gifted Irish storyteller. Embellishments were freely added if they spiced up an ordinary story. Supposedly, he had five cabin-mates shot out from under his wing in combat, one of them being Chuck O'Hare (you may remember that name from a certain Midwest airport). As this became a regular thing, it spooked him and he asked to bunk alone, so as not to jinx anybody else. Supposedly, he was transferred from ship to ship to ship, usually a couple of weeks before they sank! So I did a little digging, and . . .
IÂ’ll try to give you a synopsis of DadÂ’s Navy career, but since I donÂ’t have a complete and accurate summary anywhere that IÂ’ve seen in all the boxes of papers I have, IÂ’m piecing it together from a security clearance form and a list of decorations that I found. IÂ’m trying to get a transcript of his oral history from the Eisenhower Library, where there are many feet of shelf space devoted to his papers and speeches. Incidentally, he was IkeÂ’s Naval Aide. And, it looks as if your information is correct. It was the Lexington, and yes, he did go back to Rhode Island to help develop night fighter tactics (thatÂ’s what he won the Legion of Merit for). And thatÂ’s why I was born in Providence, R.I.
The following is in table form, and I donÂ’t know how it will reproduce .
Dates Assignment Place Decorations
9/39 Â– 12/41 USS McCormick
USS Lexington, (VS-2)
Pacific Theater American Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star for service West of Pearl Harbor
12/41 Â– 9/45 USS Lexington, (VS-2)
USS Bunker Hill (VF(N)-76 Pacific Theater Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with 6 Battle Stazs
5/42 Â– 10/42 USS Chenango (VGS-28) Pacific Theater American Campaign
1942 VS-2 Pacific Theater Navy Cross (bombing a destroyer and merchant ship)
6/42/ - 11/43 Project Affirm Rhode Island? Legion of Merit (Night Fighter Development)
4/43 Â– 12/43 VF(N) Â–76 Rhode Island? Navy Commendation Medal (Night Fighter Tactics)
1/44 Â– 10/44 USS Bunker Hill CV 17 Operations in the Western Pacific from Kwajalein to the Philippines Presidential Unit Citation
Distinguished Flying Cross (first strike on Saipan; 1 Zeke fighter)
Distinguished Flying Cross (night combat air patrol off Saipan; 1 Jake dive bomber)
Air Medal (search escort; 1 Kate torpedo plane)
10/44 Â– 3/45 NACTULANT Charleston, R.I.
9/45 Various Pacific Theater World War II Victory Medal
National Defense Medal with Bronze Star
3/45 Â– 6/47 DCNO (AIR) Washington, D.C.
6/47 Â– 10/47 CO VF 14
10/47 Â– 5/49 CO VF 54 Coronado, CA (first active duty landing of a jet on an aircraft carrier)
5/49 Â– 6/50 Staff, COMAIRPAC Coronado, CA
6/50 Â– 7/52 Asst. Head, VF Design Washington, D.C.
7/52 Â– 6/53 Air War College Montgomery, AL
6/53 Â– 3/55 Staff, COMOPDEVFOR, Special Weapons Norfolk, VA
4/55 Â– 3/55 XO OPS USS Hancock San Francisco, CA
6/56 Â– 1/57 Op-64 (OPNAV) Washington, D.C.
2/57 Â– 2/61 Naval Aide to the President, U.S. Washington, D.C. Legion of Merit
3/61 Â– 8/61 CO USS Greenwich Bay New York, NY
9/61 Â– 8/62 CO USS Independence New York, NY
8/62 - ? Pentagon Washington, D.C.
? /? - ? / ? COMASWGRU ONE Long Beach, CA Legion of Merit (development of rescue, ASW and other tactics for 7th fleet)
Vietnam Service Medal
Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm
National Order of Vietnam
?/69 Â– 10/72 COMASWFORPAC Honolulu, HI