Bellinger, Patrick, VADM

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Vice Admiral
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1946-1947, General Board, Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV)
Service Years
1907 - 1947
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

365 kb

Home State
South Carolina
South Carolina
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember Bellinger, Patrick, VADM.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Cheraw, South Carolina
Last Address
Arlington National Cemetery

Date of Passing
May 29, 1962
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

WW II Honorable Discharge Pin US Navy Retired 30

 Unofficial Badges 

Pearl Harbor Memorial Medallion

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Patrick Nieson Lynch Bellinger
Aviator No. 4
Recommended for the Medal of Honor in 1914

Veracruz, in the spring of 1914 during the Mexican crisis:
Bellinger, in a Curtiss A-3,  piloted the first navy flight into a combat zone,
eleven days later, Lieutenant P. N. L. Bellinger returned to base with holes from
hostile bullets in his plane, the first combat damage received by a Navy aircraft.
Date of birth: 8 October 1885
Date of death: 29 May 1962
Place of Birth: Cheraw, South Carolina
Home of record: Cheraw, South Carolina
Service Years: 1907-1947

Patrick Bellinger graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Class of 1907. By 1940 he had advanced to the rank of Rear Admiral in command of Patrol Wing 2 based in Honolulu. He was the senior air officer present during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and himself sent out the first radio alert: "Air raid. Pearl Harbor - this is no drill." He retired as a U.S. Navy Vice Admiral.

In 1914, during the United States occupation of Veracruz, while flying off the USS Mississippi, Bellinger became the first American to encounter enemy fire in an airplane, and was recommended for the Medal of Honor. On 13 June 1913 he set an altitude record when he flew a Curtiss seaplane to the height of 6,200 feet.

Bellinger was also commander of the squadron of seaplanes to make the first trans-Atlantic flight. On May 8, 1919, NC-1, NC-3, and NC-4 took off from Naval Air Station Rockaway in Long Island, New York. Bellinger's plane, the NC-1 sank and he and his crew transferred to the Greek steamer Ionia and soon after to the USS Gridley. For his leadership in the flight, he was awarded the Navy Cross. By 1940 he had advanced to the rank of Rear Admiral in command of Patrol Wing 2 based in Honolulu. He was the senior Naval Air Commander present during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor when the Japanese launched their "day of infamy" attack on December 7, 1941. and sent out the first radio alert: "Air raid. Pearl Harbor - this is no drill."

In May 1942 he took command of all patrol wings in the Pacific, and in August became Chief of Staff to the Commander-in-Chief of the US Fleet, Admiral Ernest J. King. In March 1943, he was given command of the Atlantic Fleet Air Force. He was promoted to Vice Admiral in October 1943. 

He retired with the rank of vice admiral on 7 July 1947 to his home, "Earlhurst" in Covington, Virginia and died on 29 May 1962 at Clifton Forge, Virginia. 

Admiral Bellinger is buried in Section 2 of Arlington National Cemetery.

Awards and decorations 
As well as the Navy Cross and Distinguished Service Medal, Bellinger's foreign decorations include the Officer of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus, from Italy; the Military Order of the Tower and Sword, from Portugal; and the Légion d'honneur and Croix de Guerre, from France.
Other Comments:

Vice Admiral Patrick N. L. Bellinger, USN
Navy Cross 1919, Peace Time Award

Navy Cross
Awarded for actions, Peace Time Award

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Commander Patrick Niesson Lynch Bellinger (NSN: 0-6598), United States Navy, for distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the Seaplane NC-1, which made a long overseas flight from New Foundland to the vicinity of the Azores, in May 1919.
Action Date: May 8 - 27, 1919
Service: Navy

Rank: Commander
Company: Seaplane NC-1

Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Awarded for actions during World War II

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Distinguished Service Medal to Vice Admiral Patrick Niesson Lynch Bellinger (NSN: 0-6598), United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service in a position of great responsibility to the Government of the United States as Commander Air Force, United States Atlantic Fleet, during the period March 1943 to February 1946. Vice Admiral Bellinger directed the organization, development and administration of Air Force, Atlantic Fleet with rare skill, unexcelled judgment and unusual efficiency, discharging the multitudinous responsibilities of his command in an exemplary manner. Faced with the tremendous task of training innumerable personnel manning aircraft and aircraft carriers, he formulated and executed the necessary program. The excellence of this program was evidenced by the superior performance of all theaters of war of both ships and men who trained under his command. Vice Admiral Bellinger's extraordinary ability, his complete devotion to duty and exceptionally meritorious service contributed immeasurably to the successful prosecution of the war and his achievements reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: March 1943 - February 1946
Rank: Vice Admiral

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar
Naval Aviator Wings
Submarine Officer Badge

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
US NavyCommander Submarine Flotillas, Atlantic FleetNAVSTA Annapolis MDNAS Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
NAS PensacolaNAVSTA Washington DCCNO - OPNAVCommander in Chief Pacific Fleet (CINCPACFLT)/Commander Pacific Fleet (COMPACFLT)
Naval War College (Staff)Naval Attache/Asst Naval Attache, CNO - OPNAVUSS Langley (CV-1)USS Ranger (CV-4)
NAS NorfolkNAS Barbers PointCommander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMNAVAIRPAC)COMNAVAIRLANT
Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV)
  1907-1908, USS Vermont (BB-20)
  1908-1909, USS Wisconsin (BB-9)
  1909-1910, USS Montgomery (C-9)
  1910-1912, USS South Carolina (BB-26)
  1912-1912, Commander Submarine Flotillas, Atlantic Fleet
  1912-1912, USS Severn (1867) Sloop of War
  1912-1912, USS C-5 (SS-16)
  1912-1913, NAVSTA Annapolis MD
  1913-1913, NAS Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
  1914-1914, USS Mississippi (BB-23)
  1914-1914, USS North Carolina (ACR-12)
  1915-1916, NAS Pensacola
  1916-1917, USS South Carolina (BB-26)
  1917-1917, NAS Pensacola
  1917-1919, NAS Hampton Roads
  1919-1919, NAVSTA Washington DC
  1919-1923, CNO - OPNAV
  1921-1923, Aircraft Squadrons, Pacific Fleet, Naval Air Forces Pacific Fleet
  1923-1925, USS Wright (AZ-1)
  1923-1925, USS Wright (AZ-1)
  1925-1925, Naval War College (Staff)
  1926-1926, Commander Battle Fleet
  1926-1928, Commander in Chief, United States Fleet (CINCUS)
  1929-1930, CNO - OPNAV
  1930-1931, Naval Attache Office (NAO) Rome, Italy, Naval Attache/Asst Naval Attache
  1931-1932, USS Wright (AV-1)
  1932-1933, USS Langley (CV-1)
  1933-1936, Bureau of Aeronautics
  1936-1937, USS Ranger (CV-4)
  1937-1938, Carrier Division 1 (COMCARDIV 1)
  1938-1940, NAS Norfolk
  1940-1941, NAS Barbers Point
  1941-1942, Commander Fleet Air Hawaii, Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMNAVAIRPAC)
  1942-1943, Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMNAVAIRPAC)
  1943-1946, COMNAVAIRLANT
  1946-1947, General Board, Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1914-1914 US Occupation of Veracruz
  1917-1918 World War I
  1941-1945 World War II
 Colleges Attended 
Clemson UniversityUnited States Naval Academy
  1902-1903, Clemson University
  1903-1907, United States Naval Academy
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Patrick Nieson Lynch Bellinger Vice Admiral6
  Bellingers contribution to early aviation (1912-1915)
  Vice Admiral Patrick Nelson Lynch Bellinger, US Navy
  Aug 15, 2012, General Photos
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