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Lt Patrick Henry Hart

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Lt Patrick Henry Hart

Birth
Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Death 4 Jun 1942 (aged 27)
At Sea
Memorial Site* Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA

* A structure erected in honor of someone whose remains lie elsewhere.

Plot Courts of the Missing
Memorial ID 56110108 View Source
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Patrick H. Hart was born in Manhattan, New York City, NY to Eugene James and Emma Elizabeth Carrell Hart who were married in Manhattan, NYC, NY on 09 Oct 1907. They also had another son, Eugene James Jr born about 1904. Pat, as he was sometimes called, attended Polytechnic High School in Los Angeles and graduated in May 1932. He was senior class president, President of the Ionian Society and President of the Scholarship Society.

Patrick took the Naval Academy entrance exam in the Spring of 1933 and passed among the highest scores in the entrance examinations. He received a California Congressional appointment and entered the US Naval Academy on 13 Jun 1933. While at the Academy Hart was known as Pat and sometimes Bucket. His classmates wrote in the Lucky Bag yearbook, "Plebe year, Pat admits, wasn't any too much fun, but necessary for the life to follow. However, the next three years showed him to be in the right place. As in days of yore at Polytechnic High, academics were fruit. His gymnastic talents, too, showed up to good advantage. Though not particularly a snake, Pat could be paged at Carvel any Sunday afternoon, -- and usually be found! During four years here on the Severn, Pat has won a place in all our hearts. His ability to make friends and get along with people is a sure indication of success." As mention, Pat participated in gymnastics each year at the Academy, as well as, Quarterdeck Society, and gNt., He finished standing 58th in a class of 323 midshipmen who graduated. Hart took the oath of office and was commissioned an Ensign of the Line (USN) on 3 Jun 1937.

His first sea duty tour on board the battleship USS Colorado (BB-45) began shortly after graduation on 30 Jun 1937. Later, according to the Naval History and Heritage Command, he served on board the battleship USS West Virginia (BB-48). He received orders on 03 May 1939 to report to the Commandant, Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, FL to begin his flight training under instruction in June 1939. He completed his flight training and was awarded his naval aviator wings in the spring of 1940.

On 28 May 1940, Ensign Hart, received orders involving flying to report for duty to Scouting Squadron 42 (VS-42). About the time he completed his flight training, he was promoted to Lt (Junior Grade) on 3 Jun 1940. On 24 Jun 1940, Ens. Hart received orders to report to Torpedo Squadron Three (USS Saratoga (CV-3)) rescinding the orders to VS-42. Several weeks later on 5 July 1940, he reported for duty with Torpedo Squadron Three (VT-3) embarked on Saratoga.

Saratoga was in a refit/overhaul status most of 1941, therefore, her attached squadrons, including VT-3, were based at various Naval Air Stations in Hawaii or the west coast. On 07 Dec 1941, Saratoga was entering San Diego to embark her air group, which were ashore while she was undergoing refit. Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Saratoga became the flagship of an unsuccessful American effort to relieve Wake Island. A few weeks later on 11 Jan 1942 Saratoga was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. She steamed to Pearl Harbor for temporary repairs arriving on 13 Jan 1942. She returned to the Bremerton Navy Yard for permanent repairs on 09 Feb 1942. During the yard period Saratoga's embarked squadrons were transferred elsewhere. VT-3 was assigned first to NAS Pearl Harbor at Ford Island then to NAS Kaneohe Bay on Hawaii.

Hart was promoted to the temporary rank of Lieutenant on 02 Jan 1942 and became executive officer of VT-3 later that spring.

On 28 May 1942, the squadron was temporarily reassigned to the aircraft carrier, USS Yorktown (CV-5). Aviation squadrons from Air Group Three flew on board Yorktown shortly after she got underway from Pearl Harbor in company with the USS Hornet (CV-8) and USS Enterprise (CV-6). They steamed to a point on the navigation chart nicknamed "Point Luck" to await the arrival of the Japanese Striking Force, which was steaming from Japan to attack Midway Island.

About a week later on 4 June 1942, Lt Hart and his gunner ARM1 Johnnie Ralph Cole, took off from the Yorktown with other elements of the Yorktown air group to attack the Japanese Striking Forces approaching Midway. Although they had some friendly fighter protection enroute to their targets, VT-3 had to thread their way through a gauntlet of swarming enemy fighters and a hail of anti-aircraft fire. Of the twelve VT-3 torpedo planes that took off from the Yorktown that morning only two survived the attack, but had to ditch. Three of the four crewman survived and were rescued by friendly forces. Lt. Hart and Petty Officer Cole did not return from this mission, and they were listed as missing in action on 04 Jun 1942. Their remains were unrecoverable. On 17 Jun 1942, the Navy Department notified the family of Lt Hart via telegram that he was missing in the service of his country. On 5 Jun 1943, he was "presumed" dead.

Lt Hart was awarded the Navy Cross, Purple Heart, American Campaign Medal with Fleet Clasp, American Defense Service Medal w/Fleet Clasp, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/one bronze battle star, and the World War II Victory Medal. The Navy Cross was the only medal not to be awarded posthumously because it was awarded to him before he was presumed dead.
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The Van Nuys News (Van Nuys, California) - 17 Aug 1933, Thu - Page 7
People and What They are Doing. Personal Activities of Van Nuys Vicinity
Patrick Henry Hart, son of K.J. Hart, in charge of the Western Union here, received an appointment to Annapolis and passed among the highest in entrance examinations. The academic year begins the first of next month.
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The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross to Patrick Henry Hart, Lieutenant, United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Torpedo Plane and Executive Officer of Torpedo Squadron THREE, attached to the U.S.S. YORKTOWN, during the "Air Battle of Midway," against enemy Japanese forces on 4 June 1942. Participating in a Torpedo Plane assault against Japanese naval units, Lieutenant Hart, in the face of tremendous anti-aircraft fire and overwhelming fighter opposition, pressed home his attack to a point where it became relatively certain that, in order to accomplish his mission, he would probably sacrifice his life. Undeterred by the grave possibilities of such a hazardous offensive, he carried on, with extreme disregard for his own personal safety, until his squadron scored direct hits on two enemy aircraft carriers. His self sacrificing gallantry and fortitude were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 309 (December 1942)
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Honor Scroll
His family also received a scroll from President Franklin D. Roosevelt in commemoration of Lt. Hart. The citation reads: In grateful memory of Patrick H. Hart, who died in the service of his country, SEA, Pacific Area, ATTACHED U.S.S. YORKTOWN, 5 JUNE 1943 (Presumed). He stands in the unbroken line of patriots who have dared to die that freedom might live and grow and increase its blessings. Freedom lives, and through it, he lives -- in a way that humbles the undertakings of most men.

(Signed) Franklin D. Roosevelt,
President of the United States
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The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California) - 12 Jun 1944, Mon- Page 16
Destroyers Will Bear Names of Four Heroes – Vessels Being Built With $40, 371, 372 Left From War Bond Drive For Cruiser Los Angeles

Four sleek destroyers named for Los Angeles' outstanding naval heroes of World War II will be launched soon as a triumphant climax to last year's War Bond campaign to build the cruiser Los Angeles. The drive boomed over the top – a $40,000,000 quota – and onward to total sales of $80,371,372. The extra funds are being used in Pacific Coast shipyard to construct 2200 ton destroyers honoring four Angelenos (sic) killed in action.
They are Capt. Willard Woodward Keith, Jr., U.S.M.C.R.; Lt James Charles Owens, Jr., U.S.N., Lt. Patrick Henry Hart, U.S.N., and Aviation Radioman 3rd Class Robert Kingsbury (King) Huntington, U.S.N.

Four Die In Pacific
Keith was killed at Guadalcanal and the three others lost their lives June 4, 1942, in the air Battle of Midway. Keith was the son of Willard W. Keith Sr., who was Southern California regional director of the Office of Civilian Defense and subsequently director of the State War Council. Owens, executive officer of Torpedo Squadron 8, which became known as the "suicide squadron, " was a football and track ace at Los Angeles High School before playing football at the University of Southern California. Hart was a Polytechnic High School graduate and a bank employee before being appointed a midshipman in 1933.

"Warship Dividend"
Huntington, a native Angeleno, attended elementary Los Angeles schools, the California Preparatory School in Covina, the Eliot School in Altadena, and Pasadena Junior College, before going to the University of Washington and enlisting in the Navy in 1941.
James L. Beebe, chairman of the citizens' committee which engineered and overwhelmingly successful bond drive, and Mayor Bowron announced the "warship dividends" to be built in addition to the cruiser Los Angeles. A committee of admirals reviewed service records of officers and enlisted men of the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard to choose the outstanding heroes, giving consideration to men who either were born in Los Angeles County or had lived some portion of their life her or whose parents were residing here.

Exploits of Heroes
Capt. Keith, who attended Beverly Hills High School and Stanford University, lost his life while leading marines in bayonet and hand-grenade charges at Guadalcanal. An enemy platoon entrenched with machine guns on commanding ground was annihilated. Keith was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross, the Purple Heart and the Presidential Unit Citation.
Owens delivered an effective torpedo attack at Midway against violent assaults of enemy aircraft and an almost solid barrage of anti-aircraft fire. The Navy last year dedicated Owens Hall, formerly the Sigma Chi fraternity house, in his honor at the University of Southern California. He also was awarded the Navy Cross and the Presidential Unit Citation.
Hart received the Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism as pilot of another torpedo squadron plane the same day in the Battle of Midway. Ignoring tremendous ack-ack fire and overwhelming fighter opposition, he pressed his assault against Jap naval units until it became relatively certain he would sacrifice his life if he accomplished his mission. He carried on and his squadron scored direct hits on two enemy aircraft carriers.
Huntington, known always as "King," participated as a radioman and free machine gunner on a Torpedo Squadron 8 plane in this battle. He pressed home his attack against similar gunfire, grimly aware he was flying without fighter support and with insufficient fuel to return to his carrier. He has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, The Presidential Unit Citation and the Purple Heart.
[transcribed by G47]
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The USS Hart (DD-594) was named in honor of Lt Patrick H. Hart. A Fletcher-class destroyer originally designated Mansfield and renamed Hart 21 March 1944, was launched 25 September 1944 by Puget Sound Navy Yard; sponsored by Mrs. Emma Hart, mother; and commissioned 4 November 1944, Comdr. W. D. Coleman in command. Hart conducted her regular shakedown cruise off California and during her training participated in experimental high-speed refueling exercises with oiler Kaskaskia. From 12 December to 23 December, the destroyer refueled at sea some 50 times under all conditions of sea and weather gaining vital information on how to improve this key wartime operation. Ending her regular shakedown 31 January 1945, the ship departed 19 February for Pearl Harbor. From 27 February to 3 March she escorted carrier Intrepid in gunnery and aircraft operations, departing for Ulithi 5 March.

Arriving at Ulithi 16 March, Hart joined the assembled task forces for the Okinawa operation. From her arrival 24 March until 12 April the ship was assigned as part of the screen for escort carriers furnishing close air support for the landings and preinvasion neutralization of neighboring Japanese air strips. Detached 12 April, she assumed duty as an escort for transports for 2 days and then commenced protective patrol duties during landings near Okinawa.
Hart conducted shore bombardment and mine clearing operations in support of allied troops landing at Brunei Bay. She escorted the light cruiser, USS Cleveland (CL-55) with Gen MacArthur on board steaming to Manila. After the surrender of Japan on 15 August, Hart was assigned to the North China Force. She supported Army occupation forces at Jinsen, Korea in addition to other duties off the China coast. She returned to the United States on 9 Feb 1946, decommissioned 31 May 1946 and placed in reserve at Long Beach, CA. She was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register 15 April 1973 and sold for scrap 3 Dec 1973. She earned two battle stars for service in WWII.
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Combat Action Ribbon (CR) note:
None of the Navy/Marine flight crews in the Battle of Midway were eligible for or were awarded the Combat Action Ribbon (CR). See Navy and Marine Corps Awards Manual (SECNAVINST M-1650.1 of 16 Aug 2019, Appendix 2C.1.c (3) Amplifying Guidance). It reads in part, "The CR will not be awarded in connection with aerial flight, . . . " The CR was established in 1969 and made retroactive to 07 Dec 1941. According to the Awards Manual, when deemed appropriate, the award for aerial combat is the Air Medal.

Bio #174 composed by Gerry Lawton (G47/GML470)
Military Hall of Honor ID#93754

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Entered the service from California.


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