Hohenstein, Raymond Charles, CAPT

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Last Rank
Last Service Branch
Chaplain Christian
Last Primary NEC
410X-Chaplain Corps Officer
Last Rating/NEC Group
Staff Corps Officer
Primary Unit
1959-1961, 410X, Commander Naval Forces Japan
Service Years
1940 - 1961
Chaplain Christian

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Sheila Rae Myers, HM3 to remember Hohenstein, Raymond Charles, CAPT.

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Contact Info
Home Town
St Paul, MN
Last Address
Betheda, MD

Date of Passing
Dec 03, 1983
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
2 E-238 LH

 Official Badges 

US Navy Retired 20

 Unofficial Badges 

Navy Officer Honorable Discharge

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Captain Hehohenstein grew up in a devoutly Christian household and spent much of his time pursuing various activities through the Lutheran church. He really didn't give much thought to becoming a minister and wanted to attend college for one of his many other interests. While in college he changed his mind, attended seminary, and was ordained as a Lutheran minister. His mother wasn't too excited by his choice; however, his father was proud of the direction he was going.

After some time serving as civilian ministers, some of his college classmates decided to join the Army Reserve as chaplains and Raymond liked that idea. He sent in his application to the Army and Navy Commissioning Board, thinking he'd be there with his friends. It didn't work out that way. The Commissioning Board told him he'd be accepted, but in the US Navy.

Among the distinctions he earned early on in his career are the facts that he was the only chaplain to have been at both the attack on Pearl Harbor and the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II. He is also the first living chaplain to have been awarded the Purple Heart.

Captain Hohenstein served his country proudly for twenty-one years before retiring and returning to civilain life. During the years following his service, he served in various positions within the Lutheran church.
Other Comments:

Summary of interview answers about the attack at Pearl Harbor given by Captain Hohenstein prior to his death:

He was serving aboard the USS California (BB-44) which was in port at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. As he was setting up for the morning church services on the main deck, he watched as Japanese planes flew overhead and started firing at the buildings on the base. General quarters was sounded aboard the California and Lt(jg) Hohenstein reported to his station two decks below. While there, he and the men with him felt the ship shake and knew they'd been hit by a bomb or torpedo. The compartment they were in started to fill up with noxious fumes so they decided to go for gas masks. The compartment they entered was filling with water, so they helped the men there back into the dry compartment from which they had just come. It wasn't long until the fumes caused Chaplain Hohenstein to pass out and the next thing he knew, he was lying on the quarterdeck.

Not much later, a bomb was dropped on the ship. The area it hit and the damaged caused was in the same location where Chaplain Hohenstein and the other men would've been had they stayed at their battle station. This later caused rumors that he had been killed. It took some time to get that cleared up.

That wasn't the end of the attack. As he was regaining his senses, another plane flew over laying down a strafing gunfire. As he and the men with him were running for cover, he was hit by several pieces of hot shrapnel, causing cuts and burns but no major injuries. They stayed in the ships library, where Chaplain Hohenstein prayed with the men and helped with the wounded until they could all be safely evacuated and taken to the mainland. From that time until he received orders to his next duty station, he worked alongside the doctors and nurses trying to give comfort to the injured along with the scared family members who had also been evaucated from the most dangerous areas of the base.

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 Duty Stations/ Advancement Schools
US NavyHQ, Naval  Training Center (Cadre/Faculty Staff) San Diego, CAUSS Boise (CL-47)NAVSTA Pearl Harbor, HI
NTC (Cadre/Faculty Staff) Great Lakes, ILLNAVSTA Key West, FLUSS Wisconsin (BB-64)COMCRUDESPAC
US Coast Guard Academy (Staff), US Coast Guard (USCG)Commander Naval Forces Japan
  1940-1940, 410X, Bureau of Navigation
  1940-1940, 410X, Branch Medical Clinic (NTC) San Diego, CA
  1940-1941, 410X, USS Boise (CL-47)
  1941-1942, 410X, USS California (BB-44)
  1942-1943, 410X, NAVSTA Pearl Harbor, HI
  1943-1943, 410X, Administrative Command, NTC Great Lakes
  1943-1944, 410X, NAVSTA Key West, FL
  1944-1946, 410X, USS Wisconsin (BB-64)
  1946-1950, 410X, 5th Naval District
  1950-1953, 410X, COMCRUDESPAC
  1953-1956, 410X, US Coast Guard Academy (Staff), US Coast Guard (USCG)
  1956-1959, 410X, Branch Medical Clinic (NTC) San Diego, CA
  1959-1961, 410X, Commander Naval Forces Japan
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1941 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Attack on Pearl Harbor
  1941-1945 World War II
  1944-1944 Asiatic-Pacific Specified Raids (1944)/Formosa Air Battle
  1944-1944 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Leyte Campaign (1944)
  1944-1944 Luzon Campaign (1944-45)/Battle of Mindoro
  1944-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Luzon Campaign (1944-45)
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Iwo Jima Operation
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Southern Philippines Campaign (1945)
 Colleges Attended 
Concordia Theological Seminary
  1927-1930, Concordia Theological Seminary
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Aug 30, 1930, Ordained a Lutheran minister
  Oct 07, 1930, Married Wilma L Dankenbring
  Jan 15, 1940, Commissioned into the Navy as a LT(jg)
  Jan 02, 1942, Promoted to Lieutenant
  May 01, 1943, Promoted to Lieutenant Commander
  May 07, 1943, Chaplain Receives Purple Heart1
  Mar 15, 1944, Promoted to Commander
  Jun 02, 1946, Church Service Will Celebrate Return to Vets1
  Mar 22, 1953, New Chaplain Due for Pacific Fleet1
  Jul 01, 1955, Promoted to Captain
  Jun 15, 1961, Special Service at St John Sunday1
  Aug 13, 1965, Help Servicemen, Lutherans Urge1
  Sep 15, 2017, Civilian pastorates
  Sep 15, 2017, General Photos1
 Military Association Memberships
United States Navy Memorial WW II Memorial National Registry
  2017, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
  2017, WW II Memorial National Registry
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