Other USN Service Awards – 1945-01
In addition to the decorations and citations awarded to United States Navy personnel, other awards were given or received to personnel of other armed services or allied armed forces during 1944.
British Honor 5 Officers and Men of U. S. CVE
The British Government recently decorated three American naval officers and two enlisted men who served aboard a U. S. escort carrier defending a convoy.
The Distinguished Service Cross was awarded to Cmdr. (then Lt. Cmdr.) William M. Drane, USN, Clarksville, Tenn.; Lt. Cmdr. (then Lieut.) Howard S. Roberts, USNR, Whittier, Calif., and Lt. (jg) William F. Chamberlain, USNR, Aberdeen, Wash.; the Distinguished Service Medal to James O. Stine, ARMlc, USNR, Ozark, Mo., and Wrex C. Boyd, AOM2c, USNR, Las Vegas, Nev.
U. S. Navy Decorates Five Allied Officers
The Legion of Merit (Degree of Chief Commander) has been awarded to Rear Admiral V. A. C. Crutchley, V.C., D.S.C., RN, for exceptionally meritorious services as commander of a task force of the 7th Fleet.
Two other officers of the Royal Navy and two pilots of the Royal Australian Air Force have also been decorated recently by the U. S. Navy.
Rear Admiral Crutchley welded Australian and American forces into a powerful fighting force which bombarded numerous enemy shore positions and provided effective support to invasions of Japanese strongholds vital to the reconquest of northern New Guinea.
Lt. Cmdr. A. F. Collett, D.S.O., RN, was awarded the Legion of Merit (Degree of Commander) for meritorious conduct as commanding officer of a British submarine during a joint U. S. and British attack against a Japanese-held island in the southwest Pacific.
At the risk of losing his submarine he cruised 15 miles on the surface, braving repeated and accurate fire from large coastal defense guns, to rescue an Army pilot who had parachuted into the water.
The Bronze Star Medal was awarded to Lieut. N. Ashton, RN, who, as hydrographic officer attached to the U. S. Naval Salvage Force, mapped obstructions in the channels and in approaches to berths throughout the harbor of Naples and her satellite ports in September 1943.
Extremely accurate and unusually resourceful, he accomplished his assignment promptly and skillfully, thereby expediting vital salvage operations.
Wing Commander William K. Bolitho, RAAF, and Acting Squadron Leader Denis R. Lawrence, RAAF, were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Flying his slow, highly vulnerable plane 2,000 miles over enemy-protected territory during operations conducted in collaboration with the U. S. Navy on 22-25 February 1944,
Wing Commander Bolitho made accurate runs on the target at perilously low altitude in the face of intense antiaircraft fire. During operations on 14 and 16 January 1944, Acting Squadron Leader Lawrence flew approximately 1,800 miles, much of the distance in daylight, to make accurate runs on the target in the face of intense antiaircraft fire from hostile shore installations and anchored ships. By superb airmanship and indomitable courage, they contributed in large measures to the uniform success of vital operations.
Navy Cites Army Doctor for Service on Burning LST
An Army doctor, Capt. Cornelius A. Mahoney, (MC) USA, who served aboard the LST 313 during the invasion of Sicily, has been awarded the Silver Star Medal by the Navy. When a fierce enemy attack left the vessel raging with fires and explosions,
Captain Mahoney remained on board to assist in transferring all wounded to another ship, leaving the stricken vessel only when his task had been accomplished. His cool courage in the face of grave peril undoubtedly saved the lives of many men who otherwise might have perished.
Army Decorates Three Navy Enlisted Men
The Army’s Silver Star Medal and two Soldier’s Medals have been awarded to three Navy enlisted men. Joseph A. Tammany, PhM3c, USNR, New York, N. Y., received the Silver Star Medal for gallantry in action at Guadalcanal on 22 Jan. 1943. Attached to a machine-gun platoon, he exposed himself to enemy machine-gun and sniper fire to assist and remove from danger wounded men of his and other units, with utter disregard for his own safety.
Ronald C. Brady, S2c, USN, Glendale, Calif., and Roy A. Stembler, S2c, USN, West Hempstead, N. Y., who received the Soldier’s Medal, went to the aid of an Army pilot who had parachuted into South San Francisco Bay on 20 Dec. 1943.
At the risk of their lives they swam 1,000 yards in extremely cold water to the exhausted and nearly unconscious pilot. They pulled him onto a plank and paddled toward shore until a small boat came to the rescue.
Heroism 55 Years Ago Rewarded with Medal
A Navy and Marine Corps Medal has been awarded to a former Navy man for saving a shipmate’s life 55 years ago.
Richard L. Lewis, of Seattle, Wash., who was discharged in 1918 as a boatswain’s mate first class, wrote to the Navy Department recently to find out if he was entitled to wear a ribbon for a letter of commendation he received in 1889 for saving the life of a shipmate who fell overboard. After a review of the case it was decided to award Lewis the Navy and Marine Corps Medal.
Excerpts from "Decorations and Citations," in All Hands: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin, Washington, DC: Bureau of Naval Personnel, NAVPERS-0, No. 354, January 1945, p. 57-69.