Monday, March 1, 2010

USA – Distinguished Sailors

This splendid Sheet of 4 US Distinguished sailors was given to me by my friend Ping-Lin.
William Sowden Sims (born Oct. 15, 1858, Port Hope, Ont., Can. — died Sept. 28, 1936, Boston, Mass., U.S.) U.S. naval officer. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and later wrote a navigation textbook that became widely used. As naval attaché to U.S. embassies in Paris and St. Petersburg, he observed the superiority of foreign navies. As inspector of naval target practice (1902 – 09), he revolutionized U.S. naval gunnery. In World War I he commanded the U.S. fleet in Europe and helped develop the convoy system to protect Allied ships from German submarine attack. He was president of the Naval War College (1917 – 18, 1919 – 22).
Arleigh Albert Burke (October 19, 1901 – January 1, 1996) was an Admiral of the United States Navy who distinguished himself during World War II and the Korean War, and who served as Chief of Naval Operations during the Eisenhower administration.. Burke was born far from the sea, in Boulder, Colorado. On June 8, 1923, he graduated from the United States Naval Academy, was commissioned ensign in the United States Navy, and married Miss Roberta Gorsuch of Washington, D.C. Over the next 18 years, Burke prepared himself for combat, serving in battleships and destroyers, and earning a Master of Science in Engineering at the University of Michigan. When World War II came, he found himself, to his great disappointment, in a shore billet at the Naval Gun Factory in Washington, D.C. After persistent effort on his part, he received orders to join the fighting in the South Pacific.
Doris "Dorie" Miller (October 12, 1919 – November 24, 1943) was a cook in the United States Navy noted for his bravery during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. He was the first African American to be awarded the Navy Cross, the third highest honor awarded by the US Navy at the time, after the Medal of Honor and the Navy Distinguished Service Medal (today the Navy Cross precedes the Distinguished Service Medal). Miller awoke at 6:00 A.M. and was collecting laundry when the alarm for general quarters was sounded. He headed for his battle station, the antiaircraft battery magazine amidship, only to discover that torpedo damage had destroyed it. He went on deck where he was assigned to carry wounded fellow sailors to safer locations. When Captain Mervyn Bennion was injured by a bomb splinter, an officer ordered Miller to the bridge to help in the effort to move him to a place of relative safety. Miller picked him up and attempted to carry him to a first-aid station; the Captain refused to leave his post and remained on the bridge until his death. When directed to assist in loading a pair of unattended Browning .50 caliber anti-aircraft guns, Miller took control of one and began firing at the Japanese planes, even though he had no training in operating the weapon. He fired the gun until he ran out of ammunition. Japanese aircraft eventually dropped two armor-piercing bombs through the deck of the battleship and launched 5 × 18 in. (457 mm) aircraft torpedoes into her port side. Heavily damaged by the ensuing explosions, and suffering from severe flooding below decks, the West Virginia slowly settled to the harbor bottom as her crew—including Miller—abandoned ship. Miller was commended by the Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox on April 1, 1942, and on May 27, 1942 he received the Navy Cross, which Fleet Admiral (then Admiral) Chester W. Nimitz, the Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet presented to Miller on board aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6) for his extraordinary courage in battle.
John McCloy (January 3, 1876 – May 24, 1945) was a sailor in the United States Navy who is one of only 19 individuals to receive the Medal of Honor twice. He received his first Medal of Honor for action in the Boxer Rebellion in June 1900. His second such award came in 1915 for action in Vera Cruz, Mexico in April 1914. ohn McCloy enlisted in the United States Navy on March 7, 1898. He was warranted as a boatswain on July 30, 1903 and commissioned ensign on July 1, 1917. He received his first Medal of Honor "for distinguished conduct in the presence of the enemy in battles of the 13th, 20th, 21st, and 22nd of June 1900, while with the relief expedition of the Allied Forces in China." His second Medal of Honor was awarded to him “for distinguished conduct in battle and extraordinary heroism; engagement of Vera Cruz, April 22, 1914.” Immediately after World War I, he commanded minesweeper USS Curlew (AM-8) clearing the mines of the North Sea mine barrage. For this work he was decorated with the Navy Cross. He retired from active duty as a lieutenant on October 15, 1928, and was promoted in retirement to lieutenant commander on February 23, 1942. McCloy was active in both the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. He was a founding member of American Legion Post No. 1 in Leonia, New Jersey, the first American Legion post in the state. He died on May 25, 1945, in his home in Leonia, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

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