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Edmund Ernest García
Rear Admiral Edmund Ernest García (1905–1971) was a United States Navy officer who commanded the destroyer escort USS Sloat (DE-245) during World War II and participated in the invasions of North Africa, Sicily, and France.
Edmund Ernest Garcia was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on 27 March 1905, son of Mrs. Antonia Rumirez of San Diego, California, and the late Enrique Garcia. He attended high schools in Chillicothe, Ohio and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and after preparing for the US Naval Academy at Severn School, Severna Park, Maryland, entered that institution as a Midshipman on 14 June 1922. He graduated and was commissioned as an Ensign on 2 June 1927, and through subsequent promotions attained the permanent rank of Captain, on 1 July 1949, having served in that rank (temporary) from 3 May to 1 December 1947. He retired in 1955 as a Rear Admiral.
Garcia was born to Enrique García and Antonia Rumirez in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the capital city of the island. There he received both his primary and secondary education. Garcia was born into a family with a long tradition of military servitude. His father, Enrique Garcia, was a Captain in the United States Army. In 1922, Garcia graduated from high school and received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy from Emmet Montgomery Reily, who served as appointed Governor of Puerto Rico from (1921–1923).
Garcia, was supposed to graduate from the academy in 1926, however he did not graduate and receive his commission of Ensign until June 17, 1927, because of his academic deficiency in mathematics.
Garcia's first assignment was aboard the USS Wyoming where he served as an artillery officer from 1927 to 1928. He was later assigned to the USS Galveston and in 1928 was trained as a naval aviator at Pensacola, Florida. Garcia received addition training in various military institutions which included the Torpedo School of San Diego, California.
World War II
In February 1942, Garcia assumed command of the USS Cormorant (AM-40) at the Navy Yard, in Washington DC.. In June 1943 he reported to the Brown Shipbuilding Co. in Houston, Texas where the USS Sloat was being built. The USS Sloat (DE-245) was an Edsall-classdestroyer escort which was launched on January 21, 1943 and commissioned on August 16, 1943, under the command of then Lieutenant Commander Garcia.
On November 11, the Sloat, was assigned to the Escort Division (CortDiv) 7, and sailed out of New York Harbor with convoy UGS-24 bound for Norfolk and North Africa. The convoy arrived at Casablanca on December 2, and returned to New York on December 25, 1943. On January 10, 1944, the Sloat sailed to Casablanca and returned to New York on March. That same month the Sloat joined a convoy, consisting of 72 merchant ships and 18 LST's, which was guarded by Task Force (TF) 64. En route to Bizerte, Tunisia, the convoy was attacked by the Luftwaffe on April 1, approximately 56 miles west of Algiers. Two planes were shot down and two damaged while only one ship in the convoy was damaged. The convoy arrived at Bizerte on April 3. Eight days later, Sloat joined another convoy and returned to New York on May 1. García was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with a "V" device for his actions. Part of the citation reads as follows:
"Meritorious achievement during operations against enemy forces while serving as Commander of a unit of ships of an escort group protecting trans-Atlantic Convoys during World War II...'
From June 15 to July 15, the Sloat operated in the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean in search of GermanU-boats. Garcia, as commander of the destroyer escort USS Sloat saw action in the invasions of Africa, Sicily, and France.