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Biographical bits on Asiatic Flt C.O.s

April 26 2009 at 8:12 PM
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Don Kehn, Jr.  (no login)

Response to USN flag officers: Part I. VAdm Thomas M. Stokes



From Jack Michel's valuable book MR. MICHEL's WAR --

Welford Charles Blinn, LT CDR USS POPE (DD-225)
Retired as RADM June 30, 1948. Died Feb. 10, 1990. Won three (3) Navy Crosses, the Bronze Star, and the Purple Heart for his wartime service. [As one of my late Asiatic Fleet pals used to say, "Not too shabby."]
In Michel's own words, "I remember him as a thoughtful, considerate person. He was an excellent shiphandler and steady in difficult circumstances. I believe the loss of the POPE touched him deeply. His last action aboard ship was to urge the crew to get clear of the sinking ship before the Japanese cruisers came within range again." [Fortunately for POPE the IJN cruisers were ordered to slow down when they ran into a dense rain squall. They also had fuel concerns.)

David Albert Hurt, LT CDR, USN, C.O. USS PERCH (SS-176)
Transferred in April 1942 to Ofuna (IJN interogation) camp in Japan from Makassar. Returned home to Annapolis, MD after the war but died in a hunting accident Novemeber 11, 1945(?) with the rank of CAPT.

When PERCH was cornered & sunk (by SAZANAMI and USHIO) on 3 March, the men were all p/u by the latter tokugata DD. A Japanese sailor, a petty officer perhaps, waved a copy of "Asahigraph" magazine in front of the Americans depiciting the great victory at Pearl Harbor. An Asiatic fleet vet made a mock baseball swing: lucky homerun...

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