Skip to comments.A piece of naval history returns to its command Admiralís flag.
Posted on 03/22/2017 6:47:10 AM PDT by SandRat
FORT HUACHUCA An important piece of naval history has been transferred from a private collection to the National Museum of the United States Navy.
On Monday, a flag believed to have belonged to Vice Admiral Frank Fletcher a highly decorated World War II Navy hero was transferred from the Wisniewski and Hildebrandt families to the Navy where it will be displayed in the naval museum in Washington D.C.
The flag had been gifted to retired Chief Warrant Officer 4 Tom Wisniewski by his cousin and friend John Hildebrandt, who served in the Navy from 1961 to 1965. Hildebrandt received the flag from an aunt and kept it for 50 years before presenting it to his cousin prior to his death in 2016.
John gave me this flag because I had served in the military and he knew I would cherish it, Wisniewski said during an interview following the ceremony.
Intrigued by references on a band at the bottom of the flag, Wisniewski researched the information, which indicates the flag once belonged to Admiral Fletcher.
It has Mair Island July, 1941, which tells us where the flag was made, as well as the date it was made, he said. It also has Coral Sea handwritten on it in pen, and it has Vice Admiral Flag 6. The number 6 indicates the size of the flag, based on a one through 12 numbering system, he added.
Once he recognized the flags historical significance, Wisniewski wanted to return it to the Navy.
From 1865, Naval officers have displayed personal flags on their ships, removing them once they are relieved of their command. The U.S. Navy Vice Admiral flag featured at Mondays ceremony is equivalent to the U.S. Army Lieutenant General flag, according to the emcee.
Along with a Medal of Honor for his distinguished service to the Navy, Fletchers awards include the Navy Cross, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Mexican Service Medal, the American Defense Service Medal with Fleet clasp, the Yangtze Service Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with five battle stars, the American Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.
He retired as a full admiral in 1947, died in 1973 at the age of 88, and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
A significant part of Admiral Frank Fletchers amazing naval career is represented by this flag which may have been flying on his ship during the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, as well as during the surrender of the Japanese that ended the war in the Pacific, the emcee said.
Commanding General of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence and Fort Huachuca, Maj. Gen. Scott Berrier organized the flag presentation, which was held at the Military Intelligence Soldier Heritage Learning Center on Fort Huachuca.
On behalf of the United States Army, the soldiers, sailors, marines, coast guardsmen and contractors here on Fort Huachuca, we are proud to host this special ceremony today and give this special flag back (to the Navy), Berrier said.
Capt. Eric Johnson, the senior ranking naval officer assigned to Fort Huachuca, accepted the flag on behalf of the two families and Fort Huachuca community before presenting it to retired Rear Admiral Samuel Cox, who serves as director of the Naval Heritage Command and Curator of the Navy.
He [Cox] is responsible for the Navys museums, art and artifact collections, the research library, archives and for collecting and interpreting U.S. naval history throughout the world, said Johnson while introducing Cox. I am confident that Mr. Cox will find the right place to prominently display this unique piece of naval history.
Upon accepting the flag, Cox highlighted Fletchers military career.
is an incredible hero of the United States Navy and we are deeply appreciative to have this flag returned to the Navy where we will put it in a place of honor in our museum, he said. And we are deeply appreciative.
Wisniewski said he and his family are extremely pleased with the presentation ceremony and the fact the flag is back with the Navy.
Several out-of-town members of Wisniewskis family attended the ceremony.
Along with members of the military, the event also was attended by local dignitaries and members of the community.
My family and I were extremely pleased with the ceremony and are very excited that the flag is back in the Navy where it belongs, said Wisniewski. Once its on display, millions of Americans will have an opportunity to reflect on Admiral Fletchers contributions to our countrys history.
Once its on display, millions of Americans will have an opportunity to reflect on Admiral Fletchers contributions to our countrys history.
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Tom Wisniewski
A competent officer whose actions suffered by being second-guessed by people who weren’t there. One can say he didn’t deserve to be side-lined after the eastern Solomon battle, but would Spruance have gotten his chance if he wasn’t?
I was about to post pretty much the same thing.
|"I am an American fighting man. I serve in the forces guarding our country and our way of life.
I am prepared to give my life in their defense."
Wiki bio: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Jack_Fletcher
Battle of Veracruz
World War I
Battle of the Atlantic
World War II
Battle of the Coral Sea
Battle of Midway
Battle of Tulagi and Gavutu-Tanambogo
Battle of the Eastern Solomons
He seemed to have this peculiar way of needing fuel whenever the action heated up.
Pity Halsey was suffering from an illeness in early/mid 1942.
Was your DI there or was this just a story..........
How about sharing the story?
In the sea battles around Guadalcanal, the US Navy suffered three times the KIA of Marines, about 4,500 to 1,500.
Under the “defeat Germany first” strategy, Churchill and Roosevelt were willing to give up Australia, New Zealand before visiting hell on the Japs. Be thankful the CNO, Earnest King, disagreed.
God bless the USMC. Just stop crapping on your brethren.
That was a good read, thanks...
On the contrary, we should be thanking the good Lord above that Halsey was beached during the Battle of Midway. His impulsive nature would have surely led him to go charging after the remains of the Japanese Navy after we’d bombed their carriers . . . and blundered straight into the guns of their battleships and cruisers and destroyers, which were desperately trying to effect that very outcome. But Admiral Spruance — who, remember, would not have been in charge if Halsey were there — was smart enough to hang back during the night, thus denying the Japanese surface fleet their chance to get their revenge and destroy our last two carriers still in the fight.
On the other hand, it’s a pity we couldn’t have swapped out commanders and had Halsey in command at the Philippine Sea and Spruance in command at Leyte Gulf. Oh well, that’s the way history goes . . .
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