Mazza, Harold Ralph, CDR

Deceased
 
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Last Rank
Commander
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1947-1950, NAS Oakland
Service Years
1939 - 1950
Commander
Commander

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

24 kb

Home State
California
California
Year of Birth
1912
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Shane Laemmel, MR3 to remember Mazza, Harold Ralph, CDR.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Petaluma, CA
Last Address
2878 Hillside Dr
Burlingame, CA

Date of Passing
Jun 24, 1956
 
Location of Interment
Golden Gate National Cemetery - San Bruno, California
Wall/Plot Coordinates
R 75-A

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 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Oakland Tribune
25 Jun 1956, page 5

H. R. Mazza, Navy Hero, Dies

One of the most decorated of World War II Navy fliers, credited with torpedoing two Japanese aircraft carriers, the battleship Yamato and a cruiser is dead today at the age of 43.

He is Commander Harold R. Mazza, who died in his Burlingame home last night, apparently of a heart attack.

Mazza's exploits won him four Navy Crosses, a Distinguished Flying Cross and four Air Medals.

Mazza is survived by his wife, Elaine; his mother, Mrs. Elvira Mazza of Petaluma and a brother Elmer Mazza, also of Petaluma

WAS ON LEXINGTON
The Navy pilot entered flight training at Pensacola in 1939, was commissioned in 1940 and served on the carrier USS Lexington from the opening of the war until the carrier sank in the Coral Sea. He was stationed in Florida as operational instructor until 1944 and trained
torpedo pilots in the Hawaiian area. He then took command of the fighter squadron on the carrier USS Bataan and participated in the campaign and strikes [line completely obliterated] As a dive bomber and fighter pilot he also took part in air strikes on Tokyo, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Kobe and Kure. Towards the end of the war, Mazza was engaged in dropping relief bundles to POW camps in the Tokyo area and patrolled Tokyo Bay by air during the surrender ceremonies.

PETALUMA NATIVE
A native of Petaluma, Mazza was graduated from the University of San Francisco in 1934 and was quarterback on the varsity teams of 1932 and 1933. He entered the Navy as a reservist, first training at the Oakland Airport and later transferring to Pensacola.

In 1946, Mazza took part in the atomic tests at Bikini. His latest post was that of assistant to the Naval Reserve Co-ordinator for Air on Treasure Island.
   
Other Comments:

Navy Cross
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Ensign Harold Ralph Mazza, United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Torpedo Plane in Torpedo Squadron TWO (VT-2), attached to the U.S.S. LEXINGTON (CV-2), in action against enemy Japanese forces over enemy-controlled waters near Lae and Salamaua, New Guinea on 10 March 1942. Ensign Mazza participated in a vigorous and determined dive-bombing attack, in the face of heavy anti-aircraft fire, on enemy ships, and as a result of this attack at least one ship was sunk. His outstanding courage, daring airmanship and determined skill were at all times inspiring and in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Action Date: 10-Mar-42
Service: Naval Reserve
Rank: Ensign
Company: Torpedo Squadron 2 (VT-2)
Division: U.S.S. Lexington (CV-2)

Navy Cross
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Navy Cross to Ensign Harold Ralph Mazza, United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Torpedo Plane in Torpedo Squadron TWO (VT-2), attached to the U.S.S. LEXINGTON (CV-2), in action against enemy Japanese forces on 8 May 1942, in the Air Battle of the Coral Sea. In spite of heavy anti-aircraft fire and concerted enemy fighter opposition, Ensign Mazza closed to within a few hundred yards of the target to execute a fearless and determined attack. Scoring a hit on an enemy aircraft carrier, he thereby contributed to the severe damage and probable destruction of the vessel and aided materially in the success of the operation. His outstanding courage and determined skill were at all times inspiring and in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 308 (November 1942)
Action Date: 8-May-42
Service: Naval Reserve
Rank: Ensign
Company: Torpedo Squadron 2 (VT-2)
Division: U.S.S. Lexington (CV-2)

Navy Cross
(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Ensign Harold Ralph Mazza, United States Naval Reserve, was awarded a Second Gold Star in lieu of a Third Award of the Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Torpedo Plane in Torpedo Squadron FORTY-SEVEN (VT-47), attached to the U.S.S. BATAAN (CVL-29), in action on 7 April 1945, while deployed over the East China Sea. His outstanding courage and determined skill were at all times inspiring and in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Action Date: 7-Apr-45
Service: Naval Reserve
Rank: Ensign
Company: Torpedo Squadron 47 (VT-47)
Regiment: Air Group 47 (AG-47)
Division: U.S.S. Bataan (CVL-29)

Navy Cross
(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Ensign Harold Ralph Mazza, United States Naval Reserve, was awarded a Third Gold Star in lieu of a Fourth Award of the Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Torpedo Plane and Commanding Officer of Torpedo Squadron FORTY-SEVEN (VT-47), attached to the U.S.S. BATAAN (CVL-29), in action on 28 July 1945, while attached to the U.S.S. BATAAN (CVL-29), and deployed over Kure, Japan. His outstanding courage and determined skill were at all times inspiring and in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Action Date: 28-Jul-45
Service: Naval Reserve
Rank: Ensign
Company: Torpedo Squadron 47 (VT-47)
Division: U.S.S. Bataan (CVL-29)
   
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 Duty Stations
Naval Aviation Preflight Indoctrination (API), NAS Pensacola, FLUSS Lexington (CV-2)VT-2/VTB-2 (WW II)USS Bataan (CVL-29)
NAS Oakland
  1939-1940, Naval Aviation Preflight Indoctrination (API), NAS Pensacola, FL
  1942-1942, 131X, USS Lexington (CV-2)
  1942-1942, 131X, VT-2/VTB-2 (WW II)
  1945-1945, 131X, USS Bataan (CVL-29)
  1947-1950, NAS Oakland
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1942 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Battle of Midway
  1942-1942 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Battle of the Coral Sea
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Okinawa Gunto Operation
 Colleges Attended 
University of San Francisco
  1930-1934, University of San Francisco
 Military Association Memberships
United States Navy Memorial
  2018, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
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