Rivers, Wendell Burke, CAPT

Deceased
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Captain
Last Primary NEC
131X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Pilot
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1973-1976, 131X, NAVAIRSYSCOM
Service Years
1946 - 1976
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Cold War
Order of the Golden Dragon
Neptune Subpoena
Tailhook
Captain
Captain

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

54 kb

Home State
Nebraska
Nebraska
Year of Birth
1928
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Bersley H. Thomas, Jr. (Tom), SMCS to remember Rivers, Wendell Burke (Wendy)(Silverstar)(POW), CAPT.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
 
Contact Info
Home Town
Seward
Last Address
Seward, Nebraska

Date of Passing
May 09, 2009
 
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

US Navy Retired 30


 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Shellback Cold War Medal Order of the Golden Dragon Gulf of Tonkin Yacht Club




 Military Association Memberships
United States Naval Academy Alumni AssociationNational Association of Destroyer Veterans (Tin Can Sailors)Korean War Veterans Association (KWVA)Tailhook Association
Military Order of Foreign Wars of the United StatesSkyhawk AssociationBlue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans AssociationAmerican Ex-POW Association
Veterans of the Vietnam War
  1952, United States Naval Academy Alumni Association - Assoc. Page
  1953, National Association of Destroyer Veterans (Tin Can Sailors) [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  1953, Korean War Veterans Association (KWVA) [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  1954, Tailhook Association
  1961, Military Order of Foreign Wars of the United States [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  1964, Skyhawk Association
  1965, Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Association [Verified]
  1973, American Ex-POW Association - Assoc. Page
  1973, Veterans of the Vietnam War [Verified]


 Additional Information
Last Known Activity



             POW of North Vietnam   September 10, 1965 to February 12, 1973
                               
                               Spent 2,712 days in Captiveity



Wendy retired from the United States Navy on December 30, 1976.  After his retirement, Wendy drove a truck for 20 years,  until he passed away on May 9, 2009.   He was buried at the Seward Cemetery, Seward, Nebraska.

   
Other Comments:

Silver Star

Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Captain Wendell Burke Rivers (NSN: 0-555144), United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while interned as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam from 14 to 15 July 1966. Captain Rivers' captors, completely ignoring international agreements, subjected him to extreme mental and physical cruelties in an attempt to obtain military information and false confessions for propaganda purposes. Through his resistance to those brutalities, he contributed significantly toward the eventual abandonment of harsh treatment by the North Vietnamese, which was attracting international attention. By his determination, courage, resourcefulness, and devotion, Captain Rivers reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Naval Service and the United States Armed Forces.

Action Date: July 14 - 15, 1966

Service: Navy

Rank: Captain

Division: Prisoner of War (North Vietnam)
 

Legion of Merit with Combat "V"

Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Captain Wendell Burke Rivers (NSN: 0-555144), United States Navy, was awarded the Legion of Merit with Combat "V" for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States while serving as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam.

Action Date: Vietnam War

Service: Navy

Rank: Captain

Division: Prisoner of War (North Vietnam)
 

Legion of Merit with Combat "V"

Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Legion of Merit with Combat "V" to Captain Wendell Burke Rivers (NSN: 0-555144), United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States while interned as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam from September 1971 to February 1973. During this period, although under constant surveillance from his captors, he performed duties involving highly classified material in an exemplary and professional manner. Through his zealousness and ingenuity, he generated new ideas and improvised techniques greatly enhancing covert operations. Although in a hostile environment, he never wavered in his devotion and loyalty to the United States and his fellow prisoners. By his inspiring courage, exceptional skill, and resourcefulness, he reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Naval Service and the United States Armed Forces. (Captain Rivers is authorized to wear the Combat "V".)

Action Date: September 1971 - February 1973

Service: Navy

Rank: Captain

Division: Prisoner of War (North Vietnam)


Distinguished Flying Cross

Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Captain [then Lieutenant Commander] Wendell Burke Rivers (NSN: 0-555144), United States Navy, for heroism and extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight in aerial flight on 3 April 1965 as pilot of a jet attack aircraft, serving with Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED FIFTY-FIVE (VA-155) embarked in U.S.S. CORAL SEA (CVA-43), during air strikes on the Dong Phong Thuong Bridge in North Vietnam. Captain Rivers demonstrated courage and expert airmanship in the face of adverse weather conditions while leading a nine-plane formation against the objective for the second time that day. During the attack, his aircraft suffered a crippling hit causing it to lose a critical amount of fuel. Captain Rivers successfully refueled in flight and safely returned to his aircraft carrier. His outstanding leadership and professionalism throughout were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: April 3, 1965

Service: Navy

Rank: Captain

Company: Attack Squadron 155 (VA-155)

Division: U.S.S. Coral Sea (CVA-43)


 

   
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 Duty Stations
RTC Great Lakes, IL (Company Commander/Staff)Professional Schools and CoursesUS NavyUS Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)
USS Agerholm (DD-826)Naval Aviation Preflight Indoctrination (API), NAS Pensacola, FLAdvanced Flight Training, NAS Meridian, Mississippi.FASOTRAGRUPAC (Faculty Staff)/Det Lemoore (Faculty Staff)
NAS San DiegoNaval Education and Training Command (NETC) (Faculty Staff)NAF MontereyNAS Point Mugu, CA
Fleet Aviation Specialized Operational Training Group (Faculty Staff)/FASOTRAGRUPAC (Faculty Staff)VA-155USS Coral Sea (CV-43)Office of the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF)
NAVAIRSYSCOM
  1946-1946, RTC Great Lakes, IL (Company Commander/Staff)
  1946-1947, SA-0000, (SN) Seaman Apprenticeship School
  1947-1948, SN-0000, Naval Sea Units
  1948-1952, 110X, US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)
  1952-1953, 110X, USS Agerholm (DD-826)
  1953-1953, 139X, Naval Aviation Preflight Indoctrination (API), NAS Pensacola, FL
  1953-1954, 139X, Advanced Flight Training, NAS Meridian, Mississippi.
  1954-1954, 131X, FASOTRAGRUPAC (Faculty Staff)/Det Lemoore (Faculty Staff)
  1955-1957, 139X, NAS San Diego
  1957-1959, 131X, NAS Moffett Field (Faculty Staff)
  1960-1961, 131X, NAF Monterey
  1961-1962, 131X, NAS Point Mugu, CA
  1963-1964, 131X, Fleet Aviation Specialized Operational Training Group (Faculty Staff)/FASOTRAGRUPAC (Faculty Staff)
  1964-1965, 131X, VA-155
  1964-1965, 131X, USS Coral Sea (CV-43)
  1965-1973, 131X, Office of the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF)/Defense POW/MIA Office
  1965-1973, 131X, Joint POW.MIA Accounting Command
  1973-1976, 131X, NAVAIRSYSCOM
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1952-1952 Korean War/Korea, Summer-Fall 1952/Raids on the Sui-ho Dam
  1952-1953 Korean War/Third Korean Winter (1952-53)
  1962-1965 Vietnam War/Advisory Campaign (62-65)
  1964-1973 Yankee Station, North Vietnam
  1965-1965 Operation Rolling Thunder
 Colleges Attended 
United States Naval Academy
  1948-1952, United States Naval Academy
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