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|35k||Bruce Avery Van Voorhis was born on 29 January 1908 in Aberdeen, Wash. and grew up in Nevada. He was appointed to the Naval Academy in June 1925. Following graduation
from the Academy on 06 June 1929, Ens. Van Voorhis reported for duty in USS Mississippi (BB 41) until November 1930 when he transferred to the naval air station at
Pensacola, Fla., for aviation training. He received his wings on 3 September 1931 and was assigned to USS Maryland (BB 46) as a member of Observation Squadron 4B (VO-4B).
In June 1934, he transferred to Bombing Squadron (VB) 5B on board USS Ranger (CV 4) and, soon thereafter, to VB-2B attached to USS Saratoga (CV 3). From July
1935 until May 1937, he served in the Panama Canal Zone and flew patrols from Coco Solo with Patrol Squadron (VP) 2F. The following June, 1938, Van Voorhis returned to carried-based aviation
and served in Enterprise (CV 6), then in Yorktown (CV 5), and in Enterprise again. In June 1940, Van Voorhis joined the aviation unit assigned to
Honolulu (CL 48) where he served until July 1941, when he reported for duty at NAS Anacostia, where he served until November 1942.
In December, Van Voorhis, a lieutenant commander since July, assumed command of VP-14, but soon thereafter took command of VB-102. While serving in that capacity, Lt. Comdr. Van Voorhis gave his life for his country near Hare Island of Kapingamarangi Atoll, the southernmost of the Eastern Caroline Islands. After a 700-mile flight alone, Lt. Comdr. Van Voorhis launched successive bombing and strafing attacks on the enemy ground installations. During his onslaught, he succeeded in destroying a radio station, antiaircraft emplacements, and at least one airborne fighter as well as three others on the water. However, the strength of Japanese aerial opposition eventually forced Van Voorhis lower and lower until either the intense antiaircraft barrage, the fighters, or—perhaps—his own bomb blasts knocked him out of the sky near the island. For the ". . . conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity . . ." he displayed in his ". . . lone but relentless battle against overwhelming opposition . . ." Lt. Comdr. Van Voorhis was awarded the Medal of Honor, posthumously.
USS Van Voorhis (DE 1028) (1957-1972) was the first ship named in his honor. (U.S. Navy Photo)
|140k||January 1957: Newport, R.I. - Dressed for Christmas, with USS Joseph K. Taussig
(DE 1030) and USS Lloyd Thomas (DD 764) both inboard of her.
(from the USS Lloyd Thomas Cruisebook, January - March 1957)
|203k||May 1957: Philadelphia, Pa. - USS Van Voorhis (DE 1028) photographed off the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard soon after her commissioning. Notes on the
ship's radars and other antennas are written on the photo. Among the radars identified are: AN/SPG-34, AN/SPS-6C, and AN/SPS-5B.
(U.S. Navy National Archives photo #80-G-1030314 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
|222k||April 1957: Philadelphia, Pa. - Van Voorhis makes up to a tug off the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.||Ed Zajkowski|
|315k||1963: the Atlantic Ocean - USS Van Voorhis (DE 1028) underway at sea, circa the early 1960s. This photograph was received with the ship's 1963
(U.S. Navy photo #NH 107509 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
|214k||20 September 1962: New York, N.Y. - The trim lines of three destroyer escorts form a striking image along Pier 84. These ships (left to right) USS Van Voorhis (DE 1028), USS Hammerberg (DE 1015) and USS Joseph K. Taussig (DE 1030), are part of a six-ship group visiting the city before going back to sea.||Robert M. Cieri|
|47k||1965 (U.S. Navy photo)||-|
|329k||19 October 1965: the South Atlantic Ocean - Operation Unitas VI, October 1965, USS John Willis
(DE 1027) and USS Van Voorhis (DE 1028) steam astern of USS Norfolk (DL 1) while operating with the Unitas VI task force off the Argentine coast.
(U.S. Navy National Archives photo #USN 1114319-A from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
|119k||December 1969: Newport, R.I. - Dwarfed by USS Koelsch (DE 1049) moored alongside.
(Photo © Richard Leonhardt)
|71k||11 June 1970: at sea in the Atlantic.|
(Photo © Richard Leonhardt)
|97k||November 1970: Souda Bay, Crete - A shot of Van Voorhis taken from a returning motor whaleboat.||Nick Vidnanski|
|Van Voorhis Memorabilia
|Change of Command
|Ship's Name Board at
the Navy Yard Museum
|Van Voorhis History|
|View the USS Van Voorhis (DE 1028) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.|
|Van Voorhis's Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
|Dates of Command||Commanding Officers|
|1.) 22 Apr 1957 - 1958||Lcdr. Joseph James Doak Jr. (USNA '44) (Philadelphia, Pa.)|
|2.) 1958 - 1960||Lcdr. Thomas King Ives (USNA '45) (St. Augustine, Fla.)|
|3.) 1960 - 1961||Lcdr. W. R. Veit|
|4.) 1961 - 1962||Lcdr. William Ross St. George (USNA '47) (Southport, N.C.) (ret. as Vadm.)|
|5.) 1962 - 1963||Cdr. William Lawrence Read (USNA '49) (LaGrange, Ill.) (ret. as Vadm.)|
|6.) 1963 - 1965||Lcdr. Richard Anthony Dalla Mura (USNA '51) (Portsmouth, N.H.)|
|7.) 1965 - 1967||Lcdr. John McClellan Langford (USNA '52) (Austin, Tex.)|
|8.) 1967 - 1968||Lcdr. James Granville Storms III (OCS '54) (ret. as Radm.)|
|9.) 1968 - 1970||Lcdr. William E. Vollmer Jr. (Philadelphia, Pa.)|
|10.) 1970 - 04 Feb. 1972||Lcdr. William W. Pippenger (OCS '58) (Muncie, In.)|
|11.) 04 Feb. 1972 - 01 Jul. 1972||Lcdr. J. J. O'Brien Jr. (OCS '62) (Cambridge, Mass.)|
Contact information is compiled from various sources over a period of time and may, or may not, be correct. Every effort has been
made to list the newest contact. However, our entry is only as good as the latest information that's been sent to us. We list only
a contact for the ship if one has been sent to us. We do NOT have crew lists, rosters, or deck logs available. Please see the
Frequently Asked Questions section on NavSource's Main Page for that information.
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Page Last Updated: 17 June 2020