Riley, Paul James, LT

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1940-1942, VT-6 Shooters
Service Years
1931 - 1942

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

34 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Bersley H. Thomas, Jr. (Tom), SMCS to remember Riley, Paul James, LT.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Hot Springs, AR
Last Address
Hot Springs, AR

Casualty Date
Jun 04, 1942
Hostile-Body Not Recovered
Air Loss, Crash - Sea
Pacific Ocean
World War II
Location of Interment
Greenwood Cemetery - Hot Springs, Arkansas
Wall/Plot Coordinates
(memorial marker)

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

LT Riley enlisted in the Navy Reserves 0n Decemer 12, 1931. Two years later he was accepted to the US Naval Academy.

On the morning of 4 Jun 1942, pilot Lt Riley and his radioman-gunner ARM2 EdwinJohn Mushinski launched their torpedo plane from USS Enterprise (CV-6) along with other members of VT-6 and Air Group Six to attack the Japanese striking force that was near Midway. Separated from their covering fighter protection, VT-6, comprised of 14 torpedo planes, pressed their attack even though overwhelmed by superior numbers of Japanese fighter aircraft. One by one the planes of VT-6 were shot down. Of the 14 planes only four returned to Enterprise. Lt Riley and Petty Officer Mushinski did not return. According to the USS Enterprise Battle of Midway after action report dated 8 Jun 1942, Lt Riley and ARM2 Mushinski were recorded as personnel losses in battle. Their remains were unrecoverable. They were missing in action on 04 Jun 1942 and presumed dead on 5 Jun 1943.

Service number: 078730

Navy Cross
Awarded for Action During World War II
Service: Navy
Battalion: Torpedo Squadron 6 (VT-6)
Division: U.S.S. Enterprise (CV-6)
General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 309 (December 1942)
Citation: The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Paul James Riley (NSN: 0-78730), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Torpedo Plane of Torpedo Squadron SIX (VT-6), attached to the U.S.S. ENTERPRISE (CV-6), during the "Air Battle of Midway," against enemy Japanese forces on 4 June 1942. Participating in a vigorous and intensive assault against the Japanese invasion fleet, Lieutenant Riley pressed home his attack with relentless determination in the face of a terrific barrage of anti-aircraft fire. The unprecedented conditions under which his squadron launched its offensive were so exceptional that it is highly improbably the occasion may ever recur where other pilots of the service will be called upon to demonstrate an equal degree of gallantry and fortitude. His extreme disregard of personal safety contributed materially to the success of our forces and his loyal conduct was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Distinguished Flying Cross
General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 304 (July 1942)
Action Date: February 1, 1942
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant
Battalion: Torpedo Squadron 6 (VT-6)
Division: U.S.S. Enterprise (CV-6)
The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Paul James Riley (NSN: 0-78730), United States Navy, for heroism and extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight during the operations of United States forces against Marshall Islands on 1 February 1942. With utter disregard for his own safety, despite intense and sustained enemy anti-aircraft fire. Lieutenant Riley developed the attack of the section he was leading against an enemy light cruiser in a most efficient and tenacious manner, which resulted in the destruction of an enemy ship.
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Naval Aviator Wings

 Duty Stations
USS Saratoga (CV-3)Naval Aviation Preflight Indoctrination (API), NAS Pensacola, FLNAS Pensacola11th Naval District
US NavyVT-6 ShootersUSS Enterprise (CV-6)
  1937-1939, USS Saratoga (CV-3)
  1939-1940, Naval Aviation Preflight Indoctrination (API), NAS Pensacola, FL
  1940-1940, NAS Pensacola
  1940-1940, 11th Naval District
  1940-1940, USS Neosho (AO-23)
  1940-1942, VT-6 Shooters
  1940-1942, USS Enterprise (CV-6)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1942 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Bombardment - Marshall and Gilbert Islands
  1942-1942 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Battle of Midway
 Colleges Attended 
United States Naval Academy
  1933-1937, United States Naval Academy
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Jun 03, 1937, Commissioned as Ensign
  Jun 03, 1940, Promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade
  Jan 06, 1942, Promoted to Lieutenant
  Mar 13, 1944, USS Riley (DE-579) commissioned
  Jun 05, 2014, General Photos
 Military Association Memberships
World War II FallenThe National Gold Star Family RegistryWW II Memorial National RegistryUnited States Navy Memorial
  2019, World War II Fallen
  2019, The National Gold Star Family Registry
  2019, WW II Memorial National Registry
  2019, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
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