Irving Joseph Superfine was born in Chicago, Illinois, on June 5, 1915, son of Joseph Harry and Marie (Abrams) Superfine. He attended Central High School, South Bend, Indiana, and the University of Notre Dame, also located in South Bend, prior to entering the U. S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, on appointment from the State of Indiana in 1934.
Graduated and commissioned Ensign on June 2,, 1938, he advanced progressively in rank to that of Captain, to date from July 1, 1957. Following graduation from the Naval Academy in 1938, he joined the USS COLORADO and in May 1939 transferred to the USS REUBEN JAMES. Detached from that destroyer in September 1940 he had duty with the Navy Battalion at the New York City World's Fair until November 1940. He next assisted in the fitting out of the USS GRAYSON at the Navy Shipyard, Charleston, South Carolina. He was assigned to that destroyer when she was placed in commission, February 14, 1941, and served as First Lieutenant, Navigator and Executive Officer until June 1943. "For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while serving aboard ... (that vessel) during salvage operations in the Solomon Islands vicinity in October 1942..." he was awarded the Silver Star Medal. The citation further states in part: "Acting as Officer in Charge of a salvage crew, Lieutenant Superfine, with his limited personnel, daringly boarded an abandoned vessel, in an active combat area in order to obtain strategic material. After working tirelessly over a period of several days, under most difficult and trying conditions, he brought out his ship and a barge containing a valuable cargo of bombs and aviation gasoline, dropping anchor safely after a four hundred mile passage in spite of enemy observation and attack..."
From June 1943 he had duty in connection with fitting out the USS INGERSOLL at the Naval Shipyard, Boston, Massachusetts. He reported on board that destroyer upon her commissioning, August 31, 1943, and served as Combat Information Center Evaluator, Executive Officer, and Navigator. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V" and cited as fol lows: "For meritorious achievement as Executive Officer and Combat Information Evaluator of the USS INGERSOLL during action against enemy Japanese Forces, from January 15 to December 2, 1944."
Training the officers and men of his command and perfecting the organization of the combat information center, (he) contributed greatly to the battle efficiency of the ship throughout this period. Skillfully directing rescue operations on various occasions he succeeded in saving the lives of many men... 11 During January and February 1945 he attended the Prospective Commanding Officers School, Destroyer Force, Pacific, and upon completing the course assumed command of the USS COGHLAN.
In December 1946, he next served in the Office of Naval Intelligence, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department, Washington, D. C. He remained there until September 1949, then was assigned as Operations Officer, Evaluator and Acting Executive Officer of the USS SPOKANE. In March 1950 he transferred to the USS TACONIC and served as Executive Officer of that vessel until January 1951. Ordered next to the USS WISCONSIN., he saw action during the Korean hostilities and received a Letter of Commendation, with authorization to wear the Commendation Ribbon and Combat 'IV, from the Commander SEVENTH Fleet. The citation follows in part: "For meritorious service as Operations Officer of the USS WISCONSIN., he saw action during the Korean hostilities and received a Letter of Commendation, with authorization to wear the Commendation Ribbon and Combat "V", from the Commander SEVENTH Fleet. The citation follows in part: "For meritorious service as Operations Officer of the USS WISCONSIN during combat operations against North Korean and Chinese Communist forces in the Korean area from November 21 1951 to March 30, 1952. Discharging his many responsibilities as Operations Officer, Commnander Superfine displayed outstanding leadership, mature judgment and keen foresight in planning the many gun strikes successfully executed by the ship. Thoroughly understanding the many complex problems involved in combat operations of a battleship, he showed unusual ability in furnishing vital information to the many gun stations which inflicted heavy damage to enemy installations..."
In April 1952 he became Executive Officer of the Naval Ordnance Plant, Forest Park, Illinois., and in October 1954 joined the Staff of Commander Transport Amphibious Squadron FOUR as Chief Staff Officer., Operations and Plans Officer. He continued to serve in that assignment until May 1956, when he assumed command of the USS ENGLISH. In July 1957 he reported as Director of the Enlisted Performance Division in the Bureau of Naval Personnel., Navy Department. Instruction at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces., Washington,, D. C., from August 1960 to June 1961, was followed by a year in command of the USS VULCAN (AR-5). Under orders of April 2, 1962, he later became Commander Naval Beach Group TWO, and in May 1965 was designated Chief of Staff and Aide to Commander Naval Forces, Philippines.
Captain Superfine was awarded the Silver Star Medal and the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V". Among his other honors were the Secretary of Defense Joint Service Commendation and the Navy Commendation Medal with a distinction for combat, "V". Captain Superfine has the American Defense service Medal; American Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; Asiatic- Pacific Campaign Medal with two silver stars and two bronze stars (twelve engagements); World War II Victory Medal; Navy Occuapation Service Medal, Asia Clasp; National Defense Service Medal with star (Korea and Vietnam); Korean Service Medal; United Nations Service Medal; the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with two stars, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Navy Unit Commendation (see below).
TASK FORCE 16 CITATION, dated May 15, 1995.
Until a few years ago, one of the most famous yet least officially recognized feats of daring of the Pacific War was the Doolittle Raid of April 1942. On April 18, 1942, sixteen Army Air Force B-25 medium bombers under the command of Colonel James "Jimmy" Doolittle, streaked in low over Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe and other cities on the Japanese home islands, and dropped some 16 tons of bombs on a variety of military and industrial targets. While the bombing itself was too small to have any lasting military impact, its moral and psychological impact was tremendous, on both sides of the ocean. Americans, angry and down after four months of defeat - culminating in the fall of Bataan on April 8 - thrilled at word that finally the Japanese had been hit where they lived. And the Japanese leadership, alarmed by the vulnerability of the home islands, and the threat to the Emperor, embarked on strategic course which would culminate in the Battle of Midway. USS Grayson DD-435 was one of the shiips of the Task Force 16 and and the "Doolittle Raid" and is listed as such.