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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 6 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)||Robert Hall|
|222k||April 1957: Philadelphia, Pa. - John Willis makes up to a tug off the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.||Ed Zajkowski|
|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)||-|
|119k||December 1969: Newport, R.I. - Dwarfed by USS Koelsch (DE 1049) moored alongside. (Photo © Richard Leonhardt)||Richard Leonhardt|
|71k||11 June 1970: at sea in the Atlantic. (Photo © Richard Leonhardt)|
|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.|
|2.) 1958 - 1960||Lcdr. Thomas K. Ives|
|3.) 1960 - 1961||Lcdr. W. R. Veit|
|4.) 1961 - 1962||Lcdr. William H. St. George|
|5.) 1962 - 1963||Cdr. William Lawrence Read (ret. as Vadm.)|
|6.) 1963 - 1965||Lcdr. Richard Anthony Dalla Mura|
|7.) 1965 - 1967||Lcdr. John McClellan Langford ('52) (Austin, Tex.)|
|8.) 1967 - 1968||Lcdr. James Graham Storms III (ret. as Vadm.)|
|9.) 1968 - 1970||Lcdr. William E. Vollmer, Jr.|
|10.) 1970 - 01 Jul. 1972||Lcdr. William W. Pippinger|
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