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USS San Francisco Memorial Foundation
C/O Art Curtis
P.O. Box 318063
San Francisco, CA 94131-8063
415-334-0263
415-350-0531
Art Curtis: awcurtis@comcast.net

CA-38 HONOR ROLL

NAVY CROSS

Navy Cross

 

Arison, Rae Emmett; Cdr., USN. was awarded the Navy Cross in the Night Naval Action at Guadalcanal, November 12-13, 1942.
 
Archibeque , Max "Archie" was awarded the Navy Cross aboard the USS San Francisco.
 
Bennett, John E.; Lt, USN. was awarded the Navy Cross in the Night Naval Action at Guadalcanal, November 12-13, 1942.
 
Berray, James E., Pfc was killed in action aboard the USS San Francisco (CA-38) in Night Surface Engagement of 12-13 November 1942. He was awarded the Navy Cross in the Night Naval Action at Guadalcanal, November 12-13, 1942.
 
Cates, William Finnie Sea2c was killed in Air Action off Lunga Point 12 November 1942. He was awarded the Navy Cross in the Night Naval Action at Guadalcanal, November 12-13, 1942.
 
Cone, James I.; Lt., USN. was awarded the Navy Cross in the Night Naval Action at Guadalcanal, November 12-13, 1942.
 
Crouter, Mark Hanna, Commander, In the night Naval Battle of Guadalcanal of 12 and 13 November 1942, when an outnumbered American force turned a Japanese raiding group back from its intended attack on shipping off Guadalcanal, Commander Crouter was severely wounded early in the action, but insisted on remaining at his station to play his part in fighting the ship until killed.
 
Cumings, Damon M., Lt. Commander , born 30 January 1910 in Belvidere, Ill., graduated from the Naval Academy 4 June 1931. He served in Northampton (CA-26) and Monaghan (DD-354) and had staff duty at Submarine Base, New London, and with Destroyer Squadron 3. Serving on the staff of Commander, South Pacific Force, Lieutenant Commander Cummings was killed in action while on board San Francisco (CA-38) on the night of 12 13 November 1942. For his heroism and determination during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal he was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.
 
Eisele, George Raymond Sea2c was killed in Air Action off Lunga Point 12 November 1942. He was awarded the Navy Cross in the Night Naval Action at Guadalcanal, November 12-13, 1942.
 
Eisner, Jacques Rodney, Lieut. (ig), born 25 July 1918 in Red Bank, N.J., enlisted in the Naval Reserve 7 October 1940 and was appointed a midshipman in the Reserve 6 March 1941. Lieutenant (junior grade) Eisner was killed in action during the Battle of Guadalcanal 13 November 1942 while serving in San Francisco (CA-38).
 
Falgout, George Raymond Sea2c was killed in Air Action off Lunga Point 12 November 1942. He was awarded the Navy Cross in the Night Naval Action at Guadalcanal, November 12-13, 1942.
 
Gandy, Andrew Jackson Jr. Sea2c was killed in Air Action off Lunga Point 12 November 1942. He was awarded the Navy Cross in the Night Naval Action at Guadalcanal, November 12-13, 1942.
 
George, Eugene Frank Sea2c was killed in Air Action off Lunga Point 12 November 1942 22. He was awarded the Navy Cross in the Night Naval Action at Guadalcanal, November 12-13, 1942. [1 officer, 21 enlisted]
 
Harmon, Leonard Roy, Matt1c was killed in action aboard the USS San Francisco (CA-38) in Night Surface Engagement of 12-13 November 1942.
 
Harris, Albert Thomas, Lieut (jg)was killed in Air Action off Lunga Point 12 November 1942. He was awarded the Navy Cross in the Night Naval Action at Guadalcanal, November 12-13, 1942.
 
Hubbard, Joseph Charles, Commander was killed in the Night Surface Engagement of 12-13 November 1942. He was awarded the Navy Cross in the Night Naval Action at Guadalcanal, November 12-13, 1942.
 
Klatt, George Staat , Plt. Sgt was killed in action aboard the USS San Francisco (CA-38) in Night Surface Engagement of 12-13 November 1942.
 
LeHardy, Louis M., Lt. Commander was killed in the Night Surface Engagement of 12-13 November 1942. was awarded the Navy Cross in the Night Naval Action at Guadalcanal, November 12-13, 1942.
 
Lowe, Edward S.; Lt. Cdr, MC, USN. was awarded the Navy Cross in the Night Naval Action at Guadalcanal, November 12-13, 1942.
 

Lowe, Harry James, GM 3/c, USN. born 6 January 1922 in Paducah, Ky

Lowe, Harry James Jr. GM3c, entered naval service as a seaman apprentice 28 August 1940. He served in heavy cruiser SAN FRANCISCO (CA-38) from 6 December 1940 to 12 November 1942, when he was killed in action off the Solomon Islands when he refused to abandon his gun in the face of an onrushing Japanese torpedo plane. For his extraordinary heroism, Gunnerís Mate Third Class Lowe was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.
 
Loy, Jackson Keith GM3c was killed in Air Action off Lunga Point 12 November 1942. He was awarded the Navy Cross in the Night Naval Action at Guadalcanal, November 12-13, 1942.
 
McCarstle, Howard P., Jr.; Pfc., USMC. was awarded the Navy Cross in the Night Naval Action at Guadalcanal, November 12-13, 1942.
 
Momonas, Christopher; Lt. ,MC, USN. was awarded the Navy Cross in the Night Naval Action at Guadalcanal, November 12-13, 1942
 
O'Beirne, Emmet; Cdr., USN. was awarded the Navy Cross in the Night Naval Action at Guadalcanal, November 12-13, 1942.
 
Powell, William T., GM 2/c, USN. was Killed in Action. He was awarded the Navy Cross in the Night Naval Action at Guadalcanal, November 12-13, 1942.
 
Spangenberg, Kenneth J., GM3c was killed in action aboard the USS San Francisco (CA-38) in Night Surface Engagement of 12-13 November 1942. He was awarded the Navy Cross in the Night Naval Action at Guadalcanal, November 12-13, 1942.
Shepard Jr., Tazewell 1942 Ens. Shepard was a pretty impressive gu. Went on to be the Naval Aide to President Kennedy and retired as a two-star admiral. Just passed away, Aug. 2013.
Slater, Frank O. was killed when a Japanese aircraft he had shot down crashed into his gun position during the battle at Savo Island in the Solomons. He was buried at sea.
 
Wilbourne, William W.; Lt. Cdr., USN. was awarded the Navy Cross in the Night Naval Action at Guadalcanal, November 12-13, 1942.
 
Williamson, John Leon, Sea 1/c, USN. was killed in action. He was awarded the Navy Cross in the Night Naval Action at Guadalcanal, November 12-13, 1942.
 
Witter, Jean Carter, Ensign was killed during the brutal night action off Cape Esperance on the night of 12 and 13 November 1942 as a result of one of the more than 45 shell hits suffered by his ship.
 
Wintle, Jack W., Lt. Commander - During the confused melee off Savo Island, San Francisco suffered a terrific pounding from enemy ships-and briefly lost power completely. At that point, several Japanese salvos scored on her superstructure, obliterating her flag and navigating bridges. All but one member of the admiral's staff were killed, and Lt. Comdr. Wintle was among the casualties. For this sacrifice, Wintle was awarded the Navy Cross, posthumously.
 
Wallace, John George

Young, Cassin,  On 13 November 1942, during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, he guided his ship in action with a superior Japanese force and was killed by enemy shells while closely engaging the battleship Hiei.

Navy Cross  The Navy Cross

THE YEARS of the "Great War" were not easy ones for the men and women in the naval service. The Herculean task of transporting and escorting the hundreds of thousands of troops of the American Expeditionary Force to Europe, the growing pains of fielding new aviation and submarine elements and the savage fighting of our sailors and Marines on battlefields across France all lay at the feet of the naval service. Along with this came an increase in the size of the naval service to its largest at that time, and the task of working hand-in-hand with Allied counterparts.
 

New to this experience was the European custom of one nation decorating heroes of another nation. The United States, with the Medal of Honor as its sole decoration, was caught unprepared not only for this custom, but also had no appropriate award to recognize heroism of a level less than that which would merit the Medal of Honor and no decoration to reward the myriad acts of meritorious non-combat service that the war would spur.
 

The U.S. Army shared this dilemma and with the aid of President Woodrow Wilson and the Congress in early and mid-1918 instituted its Distinguished Service Cross and Distinguished Service Medal (DSM) with clear guidelines for the award of the Distinguished Service Cross for combat heroism and the DSM award for distinguished non-combat duty in a position of great responsibility. This pair was available in time for awarding during World War I.
 

Parallel awards were created a year later for the Navy and Marine Corps, months after the armistice and amid the massive demobilization of our forces.
 

No prouder decorations exist today than the Navy Cross and the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, but their creation and early award were fraught with controversy, ambiguity and confusion.
 

As enacted 04 Feb. 1919, the Navy Cross was the naval services third-highest award and could be awarded for both combat heroism and for other distinguished service. Many, for instance, were earned for extraordinary diving and salvage feats. As originally third in precedence behind the Medal or Honor and the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, more than one Navy Cross recipient regarded its award as a "snub" in lieu of the Distinguished Service Medal.
 

The same act established the Distinguished Service Medal. Both decorations could be awarded retroactive to 06 April 1917. It would be 23 years and a 07 Aug. 1942 action by Congress that would place the Navy Cross just beneath the Medal of Honor, and limit its award to combat-only recognition.
 

The Navy Cross was designed by James Earle Fraser, a distinguished sculptor, member of the nation's Fine Arts Commisson and designer of the obverse of the Victory Medal and an early version of the Navy Distinguished Service Medal. The Navy Cross' arguable resemblance to Great Britain's Navy Distinguished Service Cross is noteworthy, but not elaborated upon in any records. Fraser experimented with the image of a World War I-era destroyer on the medal, but finally opted for the more timeless, flowing lines of a 15th-century caraval or sailing ship.
 

Subtle variations have marked the evolution of the Navy Cross from 1919 to the present. One constant has been the actual medal, which has been struck from the same die and is of three-part construction: the cross itself and the front and back medallions, which are struck separately and subsequently soldered together. Current forgers almost always strike their fakes in one piece, allowing the studied eye one method of detecting frauds.


Nay CrossNavy Cross
Navy Cross

 

The earliest issues of the Navy Cross (1919-1928) had a very narrow white stripe centered on the blue ribbon and a planchet of dull, sometimes greenish bronze (Fig. 1). Some were awarded with the planchet reversed, the sailing ship being placed on the back and the crossed anchors and "USN" on the front. A split broach with an open-pin catch was used.
 

Later issues (1928-1941) had the customary 1/4-inch white stripe and a somewhat darker, gunmetal bronze finish.
 

One legendary variation picked up the informal nickname "Black Widow" (Fig. 2) and was in use about 1941-1942, in which the medal itself and its wrap broach were over-anodized and sported a very dark, even black finish. Ironically, many of the "Black Widow" awards were posthumous.
 

Midway through World War II, contracts specified the original dull bronze finish seen in the years since (Fig. 3).
 

Presently, the Navy Cross is awarded to a person who distinguishes himself or herself by extraordinary heroism not justifying the award of the Medal of Honor. To warrant this distinctive decoration, the act or the execution of duty must be performed in the presence of great danger or at great personal risk.
 

The 1942 legislation synchronized the Army and Navy's "Pyramid of Honor," eliminated the dual combat/noncombat award of the Medal of Honor and Navy Cross and brought several previously Army-only decorations into the naval service.
 

The original positioning of the Navy Distinguished Service Medal and the heavy hand of civilian officials gave that medal some awkward early years.
 

Introduced in the months following the World War I Armistice, input was sought from the fleet on individuals whose wartime performance of duty merited award of the new Distinguished Service Medal.
 

These recommendations were reviewed by a board chaired by Rear Adm. Austin M. Knight and its recommendations submitted for approval to Secretary of the Navy Josepheus Daniels, an entirely normal flow of events.
 

Entirely normal, except that Daniels in large part disregarded the board's findings and was at times arbitrary in designating who would be decorated. An extreme example pointed out by senior military leadership was Daniels' insistance that the commanding officer of each ship sunk by the enemy receive the DSM, while many officers who commanded ships that sunk enemy vessels were not considered for a medal.
 

The Knight board was reconvened by Daniels but its subsequent recommendations fared little better, a situation that prompted a congressional investigation, a degree of bitterness in the senior ranks and the formation of the largely independent Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals.

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