Summary

Conflict Period:
Other Service 1
Birth:
14 May 1902 1
Death:
05 Feb 1971 1
Tumwater, Pierce County, Washington 2
Willamette National Cemetery, Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon Plot: R, 161 2
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Person:
Clarence Hilton White 2
Clarence White 1
Gender: Male 1
Social Security Number: ***-**-8320 1
Birth:
14 May 1902 1
Death:
05 Feb 1971 1
Tumwater, Pierce County, Washington 2
Willamette National Cemetery, Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon Plot: R, 161 2
Cause: Unknown 1

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Stories

Served on the USS Lexington IV. The ship was torpedoed and White was blown out of his bunk. He was rescued from the sea in only his "skivies" and holding onto his 45 pistol.

CV 2 LEXINGTON 5/8/1942 Struck by several bombs and torpedoes at Coral Sea 8 May 1942. Damage initially controlled. Fumes from ruptured fuel lines exploded several hours later; fire rapidly became uncontrollable. Ship was abandoned and sunk by US torpedoes.

NAME / HULL NUMBER EFFECTIVE COUNTRY / CLASS
LEXINGTON (CV -2) 7/1/1922 (US) LEXINGTON (CV-2)


EVENT DATE NATION / CUSTODY
Laid Down 1/8/1921 (US) Fore River Shipbuilding, Quincy MA
Launched 10/3/1925 (US) Fore River Shipbuilding, Quincy MA
Commissioned 12/14/1927 (US) Navy
War Loss 5/8/1942 (US)


The fourth Lexington (CV-2) was originally designated CC-1; laid down as a battle cruiser 8 January 1921 by Fore River Shipbuilding Co., Quincy, Mass.; authorized to be completed as an aircraft carrier 1 July 1922; launched 3 October 1925; sponsored by Mrs. Theodore Douglas Robinson, wife of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy; and commissioned 14 December 1927, Capt. Albert W. Marshall in command.

After fitting out and shakedown, Lexington joined the battle fleet at San Pedro, Calif., 7 April 1928. Based there, she operated on the west coast with Aircraft Squadrons, Battle Fleet, in flight training, tactical exercises, and battle problems. Each year she participated in fleet maneuvers in the Hawaiians, in the Caribbean, off the Panama Canal Zone, and in the eastern Pacific. In the fall of 1941 she sailed with the battle force to the Hawaiians for tactical exercises.

On 7 December 1941 Lexington was at sea with TF 12 carrying marine aircraft from Pearl Harbor to reinforce Midway when word of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was received. She immediately launched searchplanes to hunt for the Japanese fleet, and at mid-morning headed south to rendezvous with Indianapolis and Enterprise task forces to conduct a search southwest of Oahu until returning Pearl Harbor 18 December.

Lexington sailed next day to raid Japanese forces on Jaluit to relieve pressure on Wake; these orders were canceled 20 December, and she was directed to cover the Saratoga force in reinforcing Wake. When the island fell 23 December, the two carrier forces were recalled to Pearl Harbor, arriving 27 December.

Lexington patrolled to block enemy raids In the Oahu-Johnston- Palmyra triangle until 11 January 1942, when she sailed from Pearl Harbor as flagship for Vice Adm. Wilson Brown commanding TF 11. On 16 February, the force headed for an attack on Rabaul, New Britain, scheduled for 21 February; while approaching the day previous, Lexington was attacked by two waves of enemy aircraft, nine planes to a wave. The carrier's own combat air patrol and antiaircraft fire splashed 17 of the attackers. During a single sortie Lt. E. H (Butch) O'Hare won the Medal of Honor by downing five planes.

Her offensive patrols in the Coral Sea continued until 6 March, when she rendezvoused with Yorktown's TF 17 for a thoroughly successful surprise attack flown over the Owen Stanley mountains of New Guinea to inflict heavy damage on shipping and installations at Salamaua and Lae 10 March. She now returned to Pearl Harbor, arriving 26 March.

Lexington's task force sortied from Pearl Harbor 15 April, rejoining TF 17 on 1 May. As Japanese fleet concentrations threatening the Coral Sea were observed, Lexington and Yorktown moved into the sea to search for the enemy's force covering a projected troop movement; the Japanese must now be blocked in their southward expansion, or sea communication with Australia and New Zealand would be cut, and the dominions threatened with invasion.

On 7 May searchplanes reported contact with an enemy carrier task force, and Lexington's air group flew an eminently successful mission against it, sinking light carrier Shoho. Later that day, 12 bombers and 15 torpedo planes from still-unlocated heavy carriers Shokaku and Zuikaku were intercepted by fighter groups from Lexington and Yorktown, who splashed nine enemy aircraft.

On the morning of the 8th, a Lexington plane located Shokaku group; a strike was immediately launched from the American carriers, and the Japanese ship heavily damaged.

The enemy penetrated to the American carriers at 1100, and 20 minutes later Lexington was struck by a torpedo to port. Seconds later, a second torpedo hit to port directly abreast the bridge. At the same time, she took three bomb hits from enemy dive bombers, producing a 7 degree list to port and several raging fires. By 1300 her skilled damage control parties had brought the fires under control and returned the ship to even keel; making 25 knots, she was ready to recover her air group. Then suddenly Lexington was shaken by a tremendous explosion, caused by the ignition of gasoline vapors below, and again fire raged out of control. At 1558 Capt. Frederick C. Sherman, fearing for the safety of men working below, secured salvage operations, and ordered all hands to the flight deck. At 1707, he ordered, "abandon ship!", and the orderly disembarkation began, men going over the side into the warm water, almost immediately to be picked up by nearby cruisers and destroyers. Admiral Fitch and his staff transferred to cruiser Minneapolis; Captain Sherman and his executive officer, Comdr. M. T. Seligman insured all their men were safe, then were the last to leave their ship.

Lexington blazed on, flames shooting hundreds of feet into the air, Destroyer Phelps closed to 1500 yards and fired two torpedoes into her hull; with one last heavy explosion, the gallant Lexington sank at 1956, in 15º 20' S., 155º 30' E. She was part of the price that was paid to halt the Japanese overseas empire and safeguard Australia and New Zealand, but perhaps an equally great contribution had been her pioneer role in developing the naval aviators and the techniques which played so vital a role in ultimate victory in the Pacific.

Lexington received two battle stars for World War II service.

Served on the USS Charles F. Hughes

 

USS Charles F. Hughes (DD-428)

Charles Frederick Hughes, born in Bath, Maine, 14 October 1866, graduated from the United States Naval Academy 8 June 1888 and was commissioned Ensign 1 July 1890. He first saw action in the bombardment of Manila while serving in Monterey during the Spanish-American War. Hughes commanded New York during World War I, and for his fine performance of duty while operating with the British Grand Fleet was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal. After a series of major commands and appointments, Admiral Hughes climaxed his career with service as Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet, and from 10 October 1927 until his retirement 11 September 1930, as Chief of Naval Operations. Admiral Hughes died 28 May 1934 in Chevy Chase, Md., and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

(DD-428: dp. 1,620; l. 348'3"; b. 36'1"; dr. 11'9"; s. 33 k.; cpl. 191; a. 5 5", 2 21" tt; cl. Benson)

Charles F. Hughes (DD-428) was launched 16 May 1940 by Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Wash.; sponsored by Mrs. C. F. Hughes; and commissioned 5 September 1940, Lieutenant Commander G. L. Menocal in command.

After training operations in the Caribbean, Charles F. Hughes reported at Newport 3 April 1941 to join in the U.S. Navy's support of Britain. In September 1941 Charles F. Hughes and other American destroyers took up the responsibility for providing convoy escort in the western Atlantic.

Twice during this period Charles F. Hughes rescued survivors from sunken merchantmen. The first rescue came as she steamed escorting the Marine forces bound for the occupation of Iceland in July 1941, when she saved fourteen survivors, including four American Red Cross nurses, from a torpedoed Norwegian freighter. On 16 October, she rescued seven men from a lifeboat, survivors of a ship sunk a few days previously.

When the United States entered the war, Charles F. Hughes guarded merchant shipping in coastal convoys Caribbean sailings, and from the mid-ocean meeting points to Iceland and New York. Between 30 April and 19 May 1942, she made her first complete crossing of the Atlantic in a convoy to Belfast, Northern Ireland, returning to Boston to resume western Atlantic duty. From August 1942, transatlantic convoy duty was her service, with Northern Ireland her usual destination. On 2 November, she sailed from New York to escort the first reinforcement convoy for the north African landings to Casablanca, arriving 18 November. Here she remained on patrol for a month before returning to her usual escort duties.

In 1943 Charles F. Hughes joined in regular convoy voyages of tankers from the Bristol Channel to the Netherlands West Indies. The first of these, on which she sailed from Londonderry 15 February, was almost constantly under attack or shadowed by wolfpacks. Charles F. Hughes and the other escorts kept losses low by their aggressive attacks, and only one submarine attack, on the night of 23-24 February, was successful in penetrating the alert screen.

Charles F. Hughes escorted a convoy to Casablanca returning to New York, in November and December 1943, and on 4 January 1944, sailed from Norfolk, Va., to join the 8th Fleet in the Mediterranean. After convoy operations in North African waters supporting the buildup of forces on the bitterly contested Anzio beachhead, on 7 February she moved north to base at Naples. Through early March, she returned to Anzio again and again, to provide shore bombardment, screening, and patrol services. For the American troops dug in under almost constant German counterattack, the whistle of shells over head from such ships as Charles F. Hughes was a most comforting sound. From 3 March to 4 April, the destroyer resumed convoy escort duties in North African waters and patrol at Gibraltar, then returned to operate off Anzio until just before the final breakout from the beachhead late in May.

Returning to antisubmarine patrol and escort duties in the western Mediterranean, Charles F. Hughes arrived at Naples 30 July 1944 to prepare for the invasion of southern France. While protecting the eastern flank of the shipping off the beachhead from attack on the night of 19-20 August, she spotted three German E-boats attempting to penetrate the screen, and forced two of them to beach while she sank the third by gunfire. With the beachhead secure, Charles F. Hughes resumed patrol and escort services throughout the western Mediterranean, particularly in the Gulf of Genoa. Between 7 and 16 December, she provided call fire support off Monaco, previously bypassed because of its neutrality, but now under attack because German forces had invested it.

Charles F. Hughes returned to Brooklyn for overhaul 12 January 1945, and after a final convoy escort voyage to Oran, got underway for duty in the Pacific. She arrived at Ulithi 13 June, and through the remainder of the war escorted convoys to Okinawa. Through September and October, she sailed with convoys from Ulithi and the Philippines to Japanese ports and on 4 November, was homeward bound from Tokyo. She arrived at Charleston, S.C., 7 December, and on 18 March 1946 was placed out of commission in reserve. She was sunk as a target off Virginia, 26 March 1969 and sticken 1 June 1969.

Charles F. Hughes received four battle starts for World War II service.

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