RMC Joseph F. Pearson, USN Ret.
Chief Petty Officer Joseph “Joe” Pearson was born in Buck Creek, Indiana in October 1923 and entered the Navy in May 1942. After finishing bootcamp in Great Lakes, Illinois he reported to the Naval Radio and Electronics school in Evanston, Illinois where he earned the Radioman rating.
His first operational assignment was aboard the Tank Landing Ship USS LST-306. While assigned to LST-306, from November 1942 to December 1944, Chief Pearson participated in the North African Campaign and the Invasions of Palermo Sicily, Salerno Italy and Normandy France. He earned a Letter of Commendation for his “actions while under enemy fire and air attack” during the Italian invasion and follow up convoys.
Chief Pearson’s next assignment was aboard the USS Satyr, which participated in the occupation of Japan, while anchored in Tokyo Bay. Following this short assignment Chief Pearson reported to the USS Mt McKinley, which served as the flagship for the atomic bomb testing, known as Operation Crossroads, at Bikini Atoll. From November 1946 to February 1948, Chief Pearson served with Amphibious Forces Pacific Fleet, sailing between Okinawa, Guam, and China aboard the USS Skagit.
In February 1948, Chief Pearson reported to his first shore assignment at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida where he worked in the Operations Tower. Two years later he was sent back to sea, serving aboard four ships while assigned to Commander Service Squadron One in San Diego, California. This tour was interrupted by the outbreak of hostilities on the Korean Peninsula. This time Chief Pearson was sent to the Ammunitions Ship USS Mt Katmai, which received the Navy Unit Commendation for, amongst other things, being the only ammunition ship rearming the fleet during the first three months of the Korean War. Chief Pearson was initiated to Chief Petty Officer aboard the Mt Katmai while in port Sasebo, Japan in 1951.
In November 1951, Chief Pearson was once again assigned to Commander Service Squadron One, serving there for two years. In December 1953, he returned for duty in the Korean War aboard the Refrigeration Supply Vessel USS Zelima. From February 1954 to December 1957, Chief Pearson was an instructor in both the basic and advanced courses at the Radioman School located at Port Deposit, Maryland. In January 1958, Chief Pearson reported to the USS Aldebaran, his second supply ship, for duty along the U.S. East coast, West Indies and the Mediterranean Sea.
Chief Pearson’s last sea duty tour was aboard the brand new Ammunition Ship USS Pyro from July 1959 to December 1960. The Pyro provided underway replenishment services to various units of the Seventh Fleet in the Pacific. In December 1960 Chief Pearson reported to Commander in Chief Atlantic Fleet Headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia for staff duty. He retired from the Navy in May 1962 after completing 20 years of honorable Naval service.
Chief Pearson has received the following medals, ribbons and awards: Combat Action Ribbon (1 Gold Star), Navy Unit Commendation, Good Conduct Medal (1 Silver/1 Bronz Star), China Service Medal (2 Bronze Stars), American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Area Medal (4 Bronze Stars), Asiatic Pacific Medal (Asia Clasp), National Defense Service Medal (2 Bronze Stars), Korean Service Medal (3 Bronze Stars), Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, United Nations (Korea) Service Medal.
Joe's lovely wife Maggie resides in Bedford, England.