Vraciu, Alexander, CDR

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Primary NEC
131X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Pilot
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1956-1958, 131X, VF-51 Screaming Eagles
Service Years
1941 - 1964
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Order of the Golden Dragon
Cold War

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

52 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Michael Frederick, DK2 to remember Vraciu, Alexander, CDR USN(Ret).

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Contact Info
Home Town
East Chicago, Indiana
Last Address
Danville, California

Date of Passing
Jan 29, 2015
Location of Interment
Oakmont Memorial Park - Lafayette, California
Wall/Plot Coordinates

 Official Badges 

US Navy Retired 20

 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Shellback

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Alex Vraciu was born on November 2, 1918, in East Chicago, Illinois. He graduated with a Bachelor's Degree from DePauw University in 1941, and he received his private pilot's license through the Civilian Pilot Training Program in 1940. Vraciu enlisted in the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Navy on June 24, 1941, and began flight training on October 9, 1941. He was commissioned an Ensign and designated a Naval Aviator on August 28, 1942, and then completed fighter and carrier training before joining VF-3 (later redesignated VF-6) in March 1943. Lt Vraciu was credited with the destruction of 9 enemy aircraft in aerial combat before transferring to VF-16 in February 1944. He then destroyed an additional 10 enemy aircraft before returning to the U.S. in July 1944, for a total of 19 aircraft destroyed and 1 damaged during World War II. Lt Vraciu joined VF-20 in November 1944, but was shot down in the Philippines in December and joined up with guerrilla forces, reaching friendly lines in February 1945. He then served as a text pilot at NATC Patuxent River, Maryland, from April to September 1945, followed by service on the staff of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Air at the Pentagon from September 1945 to October 1951. During this time, he helped start and implement the Naval and Marine Air Reserve Program. His next assignment was at NAS Los Alamitos, California, from November 1951 to March 1954, and he then completed U.S. Naval General Line School before serving as Communications Officer aboard the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-12) from December 1954 to February 1956. CDR Vraciu served as Commanding Officer of VF-51 from March 1956 to January 1958, followed by service as Officer in Charge of ATU-202 at NAAS Kingsville, Texas, from February 1958 to January 1961. His final assignment was as Assistant Operations Officer for the Commander of Carrier Division THREE from February 1961 until his retirement from the Navy on December 31, 1963.

Other Comments:
US Navy High Individual Aerial Gunnery Award - 1957
 Photo Album   (More...

  1944-1944, 131X, VF-16 Pistol Packing Airdales


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- / 1944

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- / 1944

VF-16 Pistol Packing Airdales Unit Page


131X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Pilot

USS Intrepid (CV-11)

 VF-16 Pistol Packing Airdales Details

VF-16 Pistol Packing Airdales

Air Units - Fixed Wing


Parent Unit
Fixed Wing

Air Squadron

Created/Owned By
Not Specified

Last Updated: Nov 19, 2008
Memories For This Unit

Other Memories
Rather than rotate home, Vraciu requested additional combat duty and joined VF-16 in USS Lexington (CV-16). By mid June he had run his score to 12 "kills", a record for carrier aviators at the time.

Vraciu's greatest day in combat occurred during the First Battle of the Philippine Sea, the "Great Marianas Turkey Shoot" on June 19. Despite a malfunctioning supercharger, he intercepted a formation of Japanese dive bombers and "splashed" six in a period of eight minutes. When he landed, the Lexington's ordnancemen discovered that he had used a total of only 360 rounds of ammunition, which works out to less than a five-second burst per "kill."[1] The next day, escorting bombers in an attack on the Japanese Mobile Fleet, he downed his 19th victim.

My Photos For This Duty Station
No Available Photos
2 Members Also There at Same Time
VF-16 Pistol Packing Airdales

Bright, Mark Kenneth, LT, (1941-1944) OFF 131X Lieutenant
Christiansen, John, RDML, (1941-1975) Ensign

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