Free Republic
Browse · Search
VetsCoR
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

A piece of naval history returns to its command Admiralís flag.
Sierra Vista Herald ^ | Dana Cole

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 flag’s 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 Monday’s 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, Fletcher’s 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 Fletcher’s 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 Navy’s 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 Fletcher’s military career.

“He [Fletcher]

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 Wisniewski’s 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 it’s on display, millions of Americans will have an opportunity to reflect on Admiral Fletcher’s contributions to our country’s history.”

“Once it’s on display, millions of Americans will have an opportunity to reflect on Admiral Fletcher’s contributions to our country’s history.”

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Tom Wisniewski


TOPICS: VetsCoR
KEYWORDS: admfletcher; fthuachuca; usarmy


This U.S. Navy Vice Admiral flag is believed to have belonged to Admiral Frank Fletcher during his service in World War II. It was donated to the National Museum of the United States Navy by the Wisniewski and Hildebrandt families during a presentation ceremony on Monday at the Military Intelligence Soldier Heritage Learning Center on Fort Huachuca

1 posted on 03/22/2017 6:47:10 AM PDT by SandRat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: SandRat

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?


2 posted on 03/22/2017 6:56:46 AM PDT by DoodleDawg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ConorMacNessa; All
TONK, even we Arizona Army Doggies, show respect
3 posted on 03/22/2017 7:00:16 AM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SandRat
Admiral Fletcher's single greatest command decision was turning over command of the U.S. carrier force to Admiral Spruance at the Battle of Midway, after the Yorktown was disabled. Truly a selfless decision ("patriotism in action," as Prange put it), and it gave the brilliant Admiral Spruance a free hand to successfully conclude the battle.

4 posted on 03/22/2017 7:17:41 AM PDT by bus man (Loose Lips Sink Ships)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoodleDawg
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.

5 posted on 03/22/2017 7:26:40 AM PDT by Skooz (Gabba Gabba we accept you we accept you one of us Gabba Gabba we accept you we accept you one of us)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: SandRat
Have not cared for Adm. Fletcher since my DI told us the story of him abandoning
the 1st Marine Division on Guadalcanal without a good chunk of their supply. ;~)
6 posted on 03/22/2017 7:29:44 AM PDT by major_gaff (University of Parris Island, Class of '84)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SandRat
Thanks for the ping, SandRat.

"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."

7 posted on 03/22/2017 8:15:48 AM PDT by ConorMacNessa (<center> <table background=" http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i25/Conormacnessa/FReep/gold_solid.jp)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: SandRat

Wiki bio: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Jack_Fletcher
Battles/wars

Mexican Revolution
Battle of Veracruz

World War I
Battle of the Atlantic

World War II
Battle of the Coral Sea
Battle of Midway
Guadalcanal campaign
Battle of Tulagi and Gavutu-Tanambogo
Battle of the Eastern Solomons


8 posted on 03/22/2017 11:30:14 AM PDT by minnesota_bound
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoodleDawg

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.


9 posted on 03/22/2017 3:07:56 PM PDT by Kommodor (Terrorist, Journalist or Democrat? I can't tell the difference.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: major_gaff
my DI told us the story of him abandoning the 1st Marine Division on Guadalcanal without a good chunk of their supply.

Was your DI there or was this just a story..........

How about sharing the story?

10 posted on 03/22/2017 3:16:02 PM PDT by Hot Tabasco (My once 6 pack abs are now a keg......)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Hot Tabasco

https://www.usni.org/magazines/navalhistory/1992-09/frank-jack-fletcher-got-bum-rap-part-two


11 posted on 03/22/2017 3:25:37 PM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: major_gaff; Hot Tabasco

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.


12 posted on 03/22/2017 3:40:34 PM PDT by Jacquerie (ArticleVBlog.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Hot Tabasco
No...I am not that old...lol. Boots are schooled in USMC history at Parris
Island and San Diego. That day's lesson had covered WWII which
included the Solomon campaign. My DI just put his spin on Fletcher's
actions at Guadalcanal in a way only Marine DI's can.
13 posted on 03/23/2017 4:31:59 AM PDT by major_gaff (University of Parris Island, Class of '84)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Jacquerie
Just stop crapping on your brethren.

Lighten up, Francis...I was mostly kidding. Maybe if you understood the
relationship between Jarheads and Squids a little better you would not
make such inane statements. I have great respect for the Navy as I spent
3/4's of my tour with them in naval schools and on aircraft carriers
including the raid on Libya in '86.
14 posted on 03/23/2017 4:43:54 AM PDT by major_gaff (University of Parris Island, Class of '84)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: jjotto

That was a good read, thanks...


15 posted on 03/23/2017 5:56:28 AM PDT by Hot Tabasco (My once 6 pack abs are now a keg......)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Kommodor

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 . . .


16 posted on 03/23/2017 1:06:23 PM PDT by bus man (Loose Lips Sink Ships)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
VetsCoR
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson