Nathan Green Gordon

Nathan Green Gordon

Morrilton, Conway County, Arkansas, USA
Death 8 Sep 2008 (aged 92)
Little Rock, Pulaski County, Arkansas, USA
Burial Morrilton, Conway County, Arkansas, USA
Memorial ID 29696934 · View Source
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World War II Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. He served in the United States Navy during World War II, and as pilot fighting across the Pacific Theater in a Consolidated PBY Catalina flying boat he received orders to search for downed pilots after a raid on the Japanese position in Kavieng near the mainland of Papua New Guinea. It was his actions on February 14 1944 that earned him the Medal of Honor. His official Medal of Honor citation reads "For extraordinary heroism above and beyond the call of duty as commander of a Catalina patrol plane in rescuing personnel of the U.S. Army 5th Air Force shot down in combat over Kavieng Harbor in the Bismarck Sea, 15 February 1944. On air alert in the vicinity of Vitu Islands, Lt. (then Lt. j.g.) Gordon unhesitatingly responded to a report of the crash and flew boldly into the harbor, defying close-range fire from enemy shore guns to make 3 separate landings in full view of the Japanese and pick up 9 men, several of them injured. With his cumbersome flying boat dangerously overloaded, he made a brilliant takeoff despite heavy swells and almost total absence of wind and set a course for base, only to receive the report of another group stranded in a rubber life raft 600 yards from the enemy shore. Promptly turning back, he again risked his life to set his plane down under direct fire of the heaviest defenses of Kavieng and take aboard 6 more survivors, coolly making his fourth dexterous takeoff with 15 rescued officers and men. By his exceptional daring, personal valor, and incomparable airmanship under most perilous conditions, Lt. Gordon prevented certain death or capture of our airmen by the Japanese." He also received the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service in the Pacific. He graduated from the University of Arkansas law school in 1939 and had practiced law for two years when he decided to enlist in the Navy in 1941. He was also a former Arkansas Lieutenant Governor for twenty years, entering that office in 1947. He was there during the 1957 Little Rock Central High School desegregation crisis. Gordon returned to practicing law after leaving the lieutenant governor's office. He died after suffering from pneumonia at age 92.

Bio by: Elizabeth Reed

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Elizabeth Reed
  • Added: 9 Sep 2008
  • Find a Grave Memorial 29696934
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Nathan Green Gordon (4 Sep 1916–8 Sep 2008), Find a Grave Memorial no. 29696934, citing Elmwood Cemetery, Morrilton, Conway County, Arkansas, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .