Skip to comments.A Tribute to the Late Captain Stanford E. Linzey, Jr.
Posted on 03/13/2010 11:12:11 PM PST by Cindy
Note: Photos included.
Note: The following text is a quote:
Thursday, March 11, 2010
A Tribute to the Late Captain Stanford E. Linzey, Jr. By Chaplain James F. Linzey Special to ASSIST News Service
ESCONDIDO, CA (ANS) -- A World War II hero, my father, Captain Stanford E. Linzey, Jr., CHC, USN (Ret.), survived the Battle of Midway and the Battle of the Coral Sea. He was a sailor then, but a chaplain later.
Captain Stanford E. Linzey, Jr.
During the Battle of Midway in World War II, my father was a 21 year old Seamen Second Class, stationed on the USS Yorktown. The USS Yorktown along with the USS Enterprise and the USS Hornet won this battle. Securing Midway Island was essential in winning the War on the Pacific front.
My father joined the US Navy to be in the Navy band. He played the clarinet. He was not interested in fighting in wars and had no idea what would await him. A young lad from McAllen, Texas, he was about to see the world. When he was assigned to the USS Yorktown, it was the state of the art aircraft carrier. Departing Pearl Harbor, their mission was to bomb the Marshall and Gilbert Islands and others islands as well where the Japanese had invaded. This was when they were ordered to Midway Island.
The aircraft carriers sailed within 200 miles northeast of Midway to protect Midway from the attack of the Japanese fleet. When the carriers sailed northwest toward their destination, an eerie sense a sense of despair filled the Yorktown. My father felt it and was consumed by this fear. On June 3, 1942, my father lay in his bunk in the dark. It was pitch black and silent. He asked God to remove this fear. After praying for a long time, the fear disappeared and he sensed relief and a deep abiding peace regardless of what might befall the Yorktown.
My mother, Dr. Verna Linzey, was back in San Diego and did not know anything about the impending battle or my fathers sense of fear and experience in prayer. But at the same time, about 5,000 miles away from my father, she felt a strong desperation to pray for my father. She did not know why. But she knelt in prayer by the side of their bed. It was between five and six oclock in the evening California time. After praying for an hour, she, too, felt relief just as my father did that same hour. When my parents later compared notes, they realized they had united in prayer simultaneously.
Japan did not know that the United States had three aircraft carriers at Midway. Our torpedo planes began the attack on the Japanese aircraft carriers, but they had no cover. So the Japanese combat air patrol from above came down and shot all but two of our torpedo plans out of the sky.
At 10:24 AM on June 4, 1942 one of the most savage sea battles in naval history broke out for six minutes. Then it was all over. Japan had lost. Just when the Japanese Command had thought they had won, our dive bombers suddenly attacked and bombed the living daylights out of three Japanese aircraft carriers. They became blazing infernos as my father described it and we sank them. As my father recalls, Admiral Nimitz stated, I want that last carrier. So the USS Yorktown searched and found itthe Hiryu. The Yorktown found, bombed, and sank it.
Captain Stanford E. Linzey, Jr., CHC, USN (Ret.) delivers the invocation behind the Seal of the President of the United States of America on August 28, 2005. The event is the 60th Anniversary of Japan's Surrender in World War II. President George W. Bush was the keynote speaker. (Photo: Courtesy of Chaplain James F. Linzey)
There was only one problem. The Japanese aircraft were in the air and followed ours back to the Yorktown. The Yorktown subsequently was bombed three times and torpedoed twice. One of the bombs went down the stack and destroyed the engines. The Yorktown was dead in the water. This paved the way for the torpedo attack. All lights went out. As my father described it, the torpedo attacks caused a rumbling sound because the guts of the ship were being torn out. In the midst of this they did not understand what was happening. As my father recalled this experience, he could not forget lying on the deck as they prepared for the torpedo attack. When the torpedoes had made impact and exploded, the massive Yorktown was lifted up and dropped at a 27-degree list.
This caused the water to come over the edge of the hangar deck. My father climbed to the top side. Looking over, he saw about 2,000 sailors bobbing up and down in the thick oily water. The top layer of oil in the water was about 7 inches deep and was getting into their hair, noses and mouths, causing many to become ill. Had there been a fire, they would have all burned to death. All sharks were scared off by the explosions. My father was known to have stated, To lose your ship is to lose your home.
The seamen were rescued by six destroyers. When they were rescued, about a half dozen sailors, led by my father, went to the stern of the destroyer, knelt down, and had unabashedly given thanks to God in prayer. This served to inspire my father to later become a Navy Chaplain. After serving as an enlisted man for seven years, my father became the first Active Duty Navy Chaplain in the Assemblies of God denomination, and the first in their chaplain corp to reach the rank of Captain. He also became the chaplain for the Yorktown (CV-5) Club.
Captain Stanford E. Linzey, Jr., was found to have a tumor in November 2009. In early January of 2010 he was operated on. One of his physicians informed me on January 10 that the cancer had spread and that it could not all be removed. He was to receive radiation after the wound had healed where the tumor was removed. But days later, infection had set in where the tumor was removed. Consequently, he could not receive radiation before the cancer had quickly spread and taken his life. On February 2, 2010, my father was given two days to live. However, I did not receive this message.
But God gave me a sense of urgency regarding my father the nights of February 1 and February 2. On these two consecutive nights before my father had passed away, God woke me up both nights to pray that God would prepare my fathers spirit to meet God. On February 3, the day before he passed away, while crying over my father, I let my father know it was okay to let go and that he had taken good care our mother and his children, and that mother would be well taken care of. Ill never forget the wink he gave me to let me know that, though he could not speak, he loved me and understood everything I had said. My father passed away at 7:30 in the morning on February 4, 2010 when the sun had shone into his window.
The culmination of my fathers influence was sharing President George W. Bushs stage when he delivered the invocation behind the Seal of the President of the United States of America at Coronado Naval Air Station on North Island in San Diego before President Bush spoke at the 60th Anniversary of the Japanese Surrender in World War II on August 28, 2005. I was fortunate to be there to photograph my father delivering the invocation, where I met President George W. Bush.
Dr. James F. Linzey is the president of the Military Bible Association, senior editor of The Leaders Bible translated by Military Chaplains, author, speaker, and producer of The Holy Spirit Today with Dr. Verna Linzey television programs. He frequently appears as a guest on various radio and television programs. He is a freelance writer and retired from the military after serving for nearly 24 years as a military chaplain. He served as the number one chaplain for the largest mobilization and demobilization mission in the continental United States in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the first full time chaplain for The Leaders Training Course in the US Army Cadet Command.
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Many thanks to you and your father for your service to our country. I long ago learned and have kept in mind that the peace, freedom, and prosperity that I and other civilians have enjoyed in our lives had to be paid for by the sacrifices of our men and women in the military.
It wasn’t my father, but the author’s.
I totally agree with you; if it wasn’t for our Christian heritage and our forefathers who served and protected this country — we wouldn’t be here today.
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