CDR Lyndon B. Johnson

2018-2-19 Johnson

On June 21, 1940, Lyndon Johnson was appointed Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve (USNR). Reporting for active duty on Dec. 10, 1941, three days after Pearl Harbor, he was ordered to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department, Washington, D.C., for instruction. He began working on production and manpower problems that were slowing the production of ships and planes, and he traveled in Texas, California, and Washington, assessing labor needs in war production plants. In May 1942, he proceeded to headquarters, Twelfth Naval District, San Francisco, California, for inspection duty in the pacific. Stationed in New Zealand and Australia, he participated as an observer on a number of bomber missions in the South Pacific. He was awarded the Army Silver Star Medal by General Douglas MacArthur and it was cited as follows:

For gallantry in action in the vicinity of Port Moresby and Salamaua, New Guinea, on June 9, 1942. While on a mission of obtaining information in the Southwest Pacific area, Lieutenant Commander Johnson, in order to obtain personal knowledge of combat conditions, volunteered as an observer on a hazardous aerial combat mission over hostile positions in New Guinea. As our planes neared the target area they were intercepted by eight hostile fighters. When, at this time, the plane in which Lieutenant Commander Johnson was an observer, developed mechanical trouble and was forced to turn back alone, presenting a favorable target to the enemy fighters, he evidenced marked coolness in spite of the hazards involved. His gallant actions enabled him to obtain and return with valuable information.

In addition to the Army Silver Star Medal, Commander Johnson has the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.

On July 16, 1942, Johnson was released from active duty under honorable conditions. (President Roosevelt had ruled that national legislators might not serve in the armed forces). On Oct. 19, 1949, he was promoted to Commander, USNR, his date of rank, June 1, 1948. His resignation from the Naval Reserve was accepted by the Secretary of the Navy, effective Jan. 18, 1964.

We honor you, Lyndon Johnson.

(#Repost @JBJ Library)

PO2 Daniel McCartney

2018-2-17 McCartney

Daniel McCartney, 34, was shot during a burglary call near Spanaway on January 7, 2018. He died from his injuries at St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma.

McCartney graduated from high school in Loyalton, California near Reno, Nevada. He joined the Navy in 2002, where he served as an electronics technician 2nd class. He was deployed to Afghanistan with a security detail assigned to the Army before being honorably discharged in 2008.

McCartney worked as a detention officer at the Grays Harbor County Juvenile Facility and was a personal trainer at the Grays Harbor YMCA before joining Hoquiam Police in 2009. He transferred to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department on Aug. 17, 2014.

We honor you, Daniel McCartney.

(Submission by: Ninzel Rasmuson. #Repost @Seattlepi)

CQM Raymond Barron Chavez

2018-2-13 Chavez

On December 7, 1941, Navy helmsman Raymond Barron Chavez was on duty aboard the USS Candor. The Candor was really nothing more than a San Diego-based fishing boat commandeered by the Navy to sweep for mines in Pearl Harbor.

“We used to sweep from midnight to 6 a.m. in the morning,” Chavez said.

It was about 3:45 a.m. when the crew made a startling discovery.

“We got a submarine here in protected water, not supposed to be here,” Chavez said.

They reported the Japanese sub sighting to the base, but nothing was done about it. The ship completed its rounds, and Raymond Chavez went back to his home adjacent to Hickman Field and told his wife he was going to bed.

“It seemed like five minutes after I fell asleep. She came over and told me, ‘Get up, get up, get up.’ I said, ‘What for?’ She said, ‘We’re being attacked,'” Chavez said.

Today, at age 99, the images are still vivid.

“Just then there was a Japanese torpedo plane flying right over our house. He was so low we could see who he was,” Chavez said.

Every year, he travels to Hawaii for the Pearly Harbor survivor memorial.

“Just to think about all the men who were lost and wounded, it just gets me every time I go over there,” he said. “It’s a good, good feeling to feel that you’ve helped just a tiny bit to win the war.”

We honor you, Raymond Chavez.

(#Repost @CBS8.com)

ENS George H. Gay

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As a 25-year-old Navy pilot, Mr. Gay flew a Douglas Devastator torpedo plane in an attack on Japanese warships near Midway Island on June 4, 1942.

All the planes in his squadron were shot down, and he was the only one of 30 men in Torpedo Squadron 8 to survive. Historians have credited the attack by his squadron as clearing the way for an attack by American dive bombers that eventually resulted in victory in the battle.

Wounded and wearing a life jacket, Mr. Gay watched the American dive bombers hurtle out of the clouds to attack Japanese aircraft carriers and found himself “cheering and hollering with every hit.”

After he was rescued by American forces, Mr. Gay made personal appearances for the Navy, spreading the news of the victory at Midway. That victory — achieved by an American fleet with only three heavy carriers against four heavy Japanese carriers and three light ones — was a turning point in the war in that theater.

Mr. Gay was a Trans World Airlines pilot for 30 years after the war. He also spoke to civic groups around the country, telling of his Midway experiences and calling for greater military preparedness.

In 1975, he was a consultant for the movie “Midway.” Kevin Dobson played his part. Mr. Gay toured the country with the film’s stars, Charlton Heston and Henry Fonda, to promote the film.

We honor you, George Gay.

(#Repost @The NY Times)

VADM H. Denby Starling, II

2018-2-7 Starling

Vice Adm. (ret) Starling began his last assignment as commander of Navy Cyber Forces at its establishment on Jan. 26, 2010. There he was responsible for organizing and prioritizing manpower, training, modernization and maintenance requirements for networks and cryptologic, space, intelligence and information operations capabilities. He concurrently served as commander Naval Network Warfare Command, where he oversaw the conduct of Navy network and space operations.

Starling is a native of Virginia Beach, Va., and was commissioned through the University of Virginia NROTC program in 1974. He was designated a naval flight officer in March 1975 and a naval aviator in March 1983, flying the A-6 Intruder with the Black Falcons of Attack Squadron (VA) 85, the Golden Intruders of VA-128 and the Milestones of VA-196.

Outside of the cockpit, Starling served on the staff of Medium Attack Tactical Electronic Warfare Wing, Pacific, as a student at the Naval War College, where he graduated with highest distinction and as the commissioning executive officer of USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). His first flag assignment was to NATO in Northwood, U.K., as the assistant chief of staff, Operations, Intelligence and Exercises, for the Commander in Chief East Atlantic/Commander Allied Naval Forces Northern Europe.

Starling commanded VA-145 aboard USS Ranger (CV 61) during Operation Desert Storm, USS Shreveport (LPD 12), USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), Carrier Group 8/George Washington Carrier Strike Group and Naval Air Force Atlantic.

Starling’s personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (5), Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with Combat V (3 Individual/ 3 Strike/Flight), Navy Commendation Medal (3/2 with Combat V) and the Navy Achievement Medal.

(#Repost @Navy.mil)

HM2 (E-5) Karen T. Meter

2018-2-5 Meter

Karen Thompson Meter served as a US Navy Corpsman during the Viet Nam War in hospitals on both the East Coast and in the Midwest.  Her love of her job and of veterans is a testament of her commitment to her country and her fellow service members.

Always an intellectually curious and social person, Ms. Meter grew up in a log-house in North Dakota. Karen liked school; it was a place where she felt accepted. However, small town life was not the plan Ms. Meter intended for her future. Fed up, a nineteen year old Ms. Meter marched four miles in heels to the Navy recruiter’s office where MM1 John Densley impressed upon her that in the military “no two days are ever the same.” Marveled by this prospect, Ms. Meter left Bismarck, seeking opportunities not available to women in her small town. When Ms. Meter enlisted she wanted to be a Musician; however, even this occupation was closed to women at that time. Ms. Meter’s recruiters guided her down the path to becoming a Corpsman. She later encouraged her younger brother, Charles, to join the Navy and become a Corpsman as a result of – what she describes – finding the job of her dreams.

After completing Basic Training in Bainbridge, Maryland—a training center that is no longer in operation—she moved to Great Lakes, Illinois for training as a Navy Corpsman. The experience put her close to Chicago—the city Karen would return to after leaving the military years later. When Ms. Meter arrived at her first duty station she was met with shock and surprise: there were no women stationed at Parris Island, South Carolina. After looking over her orders the Marines who greeted Karen quickly realized their error – her orders were for the Naval Hospital at Beaufort, South Carolina only miles away.

Ms. Meter fell in love with the community at Beaufort. The hospital staff, the Marines, and the surrounding community were her new home. She spent off hours assisting good will missions to the rural areas neighboring the Hilton Head islands to deliver much needed medical care to the civilian inhabitants.

Ms. Meter was then transferred to Naval Hospital Great Lakes, Illinois, during the height of the Viet Nam War. She recalls the day that the space shuttle Apollo 11 landed on the moon. She was on call as an ER technician assisting the triage effort. Sick and wounded were being flown in on helicopter from Glenview airport, service members fresh from the battlefield in Viet Nam. They were being brought to Illinois to be closer to their hometowns while recovering from their injuries. Ms. Meter’s recollection of the support she and the other Corpsmen provided to those who sacrificed is a story of sacrifice in and of itself. These were men who needed care, physically and emotionally, and Ms. Meter and her fellow Corpsmen answered the call.

We honor you, Karen Meter.

(#Repost @Pritzker Military Museum & Library)

Joe Adame

2018-2-2 Adame

At the age of 19, Joe enlisted in the United States Navy to serve his country during World War II. He was assigned to the Battleship, USS Idaho, which was involved in almost every major battle in the Pacific Theater including the battles at Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and Guam. At the end of WWII, Joe was on board the USS Idaho anchored in Tokyo Bay during the signing of the Japanese surrender on board the USS Missouri. After the war, Joe worked at Kelly AFB for more than 35 years as a master mechanic of various aircraft including the C-5A, and C-5 Galaxy. He received numerous commendations for his work at Kelly AFB, and also for work performed while he was on assignments at other bases throughout the country and abroad to service aircraft.

We honor you, Joe Adame.

(#Repost @Legacy.com)