Brantingham, Henry, CDR

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Last Rank
Last Primary NEC
111X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Surface Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1957-1959, USS Burton Island (AGB-1)
Service Years
1934 - 1964

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Home Country
United States
United States
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by E. L. Spratt (Jack), LCDR to remember Brantingham, Henry, CDR.

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Contact Info
Home Town
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Last Address
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Date of Passing
Mar 24, 1997
Location of Interment
Not Specified
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Last Known Activity
On April 9, 1997, Congressman Duncan Hunter gave the following tribute to CDR Brantingham to the members of the House of Representatives.  It sums CDR Brantingham's accomplishments quite well.

Mr. Speaker, today I rise to recognize the outstanding service and dedication of Comdr. Henry J. Brantingham, whose career in the U.S. Navy spanned three decades and which included over eight awards and recognitions. Commander Brantingham recently passed away and I would like to take a moment to commend this individual's exceptional service to our country. · 

Henry began his career with the U.S. Navy 58 years ago with his graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy with the class of 1939. Following graduation, he served on the cruiser Minneapolis and several destroyers, later volunteering for motor torpedo boat training. He was subsequently ordered to duty in the Philippines at the outbreak of World War II. It was here that Henry accompanied Gen. Douglas MacArthur in his historical trip from Manila to the island of Cebu and onto the United States. ·
After returning to the United States, Henry was assigned to P.T. boat training duties at Newport, RI, and was subsequently sent to the South Pacific for the duration of the Solomon Islands campaign where he commanded a force of 1,100 personnel. Henry was also a member of the unit sent to rescue John F. Kennedy and his crew when their P.T. boat had been cut in two by a Japanese destroyer. ·
Following World War II, Henry was ordered to icebreaker duties and served on five expeditions to the Arctic aboard the Edisto. His final sea command was aboard the icebreaker Burton Island, which he took to both the Arctic and the Antarctic. While in the Antarctic, Henry rescued a number of Japanese scientists whose icebreaker had become stranded and led them to open seas enabling their return to Japan

In 1964, Comdr. Henry Brantingham voluntarily retired from the U.S. Navy having earned several decorations that included two Silver Stars, a Legion of Merit with combat `V', a Presidential Unit Commendation, and four campaign ribbons for his actions in the Pacific. ·
Henry and his wife, Elaine, had two children, William and Nancy. William served honorably in the Vietnam war with the United States Army and was, unfortunately, fatally injured in an automobile accident after coming home. Nancy currently lives in the San Diego area with her husband David and their 6-year-old son Bill. Mrs. Brantingham lives in La Jolla, CA, where she remains active in community affairs, including the La Jolla Unit of Pro America, the La Jolla Republican Women Federation, and in assisting new citizens with their voter registration. · 

Mr. Speaker, in an era when the U.S. military is often not given sufficient recognition, outstanding leaders such as Commander Brantingham, exemplify the commitment our Armed Forces has to superior performance. ·

Other Comments:
CDR Brantingham had nothing good or positive to say about President Kennedy and PT109.  At the dinner where I met him, he stated he thought Kennedy was a "fool" who knew nothing about seamanship, and was completely responsible for the wreck of PT109.

Perhaps his outspokeness about the President was partly to blame for his never making Captain.  I know he thought so.
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Command at Sea

 Duty Stations
US NavyMotor Torpedo Boat Squadrons (MTBRON)USS Sigourney (DD-643)USS Colahan (DD-658)
USS Burton Island (AGB-1)
  1939-1941, USS Minneapolis (CL-36)
  1941-1945, Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons (MTBRON)
  1946-1948, USS Benson (DD-421)
  1950-1952, USS Satterlee (DD-626)
  1950-1952, USS Sigourney (DD-643)
  1952-1954, USS EDISTO AG-89
  1954-1957, USS Colahan (DD-658)
  1957-1959, USS Burton Island (AGB-1)
 Colleges Attended 
United States Naval Academy
  1935-1939, United States Naval Academy2
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