MASON, Charles, VADM

Deceased
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Vice Admiral
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1943-1943, Naval Air Units
Service Years
1912 - 1946
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
Year of Birth
1891
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember MASON, Charles (Navy Cross), VADM.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Harrisburg, PA
Last Address
Buried at St. John's Cemetery 5 North, Section 67. Naval Air Station, Pensacola.

Date of Passing
Aug 13, 1971
 
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 




 Unofficial Badges 




 Military Association Memberships
Military Order of the World Wars (MOWW)
  1945, Military Order of the World Wars (MOWW)


 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

VICE ADMIRAL CHARLES PERRY MASON
AVIATOR No. 52, USN • NAVY CROSS

Navy Cross
Awarded for actions during World War II

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Rear Admiral Charles Perry Mason, United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of this profession as Commanding Officer of the Aircraft Carrier U.S.S. HORNET (CV-8), during the engagement with enemy Japanese forces north of the Santa Cruz Islands on 26 October 1942. Throughout the battle, while the HORNET was being subjected to violent attacks by overwhelming numbers of Japanese fighters, dive and torpedo bombers, Rear Admiral Mason directed the fighting of his ship with cool and aggressive determination. The air forces under his command succeeded in severely damaging and possibly sinking a large number of enemy warships, including an aircraft carrier, three heavy cruisers, and one light cruiser. In addition to this damage to enemy surface vessels, a total of 70 Japanese planes was destroyed, the guns of the HORNET accounting for 26 of them. Rear Admiral Mason's inspiring leadership and the valiant devotion to duty of his command contributed in large measure to the outstanding success of these vital missions and reflect great credit upon the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 314 (May 1943)
Action Date: October 26, 1942
Service: Navy 

Rank: Rear Admiral
Company: Commanding Officer
Division: U.S.S. Hornet (CV-8)

USS Hornet took part in Battle of Midway.  USS Hornet (Capt. C.P. Mason) was heavily damaged in the battle of Santa Cruz on 26 October 1942. The abandoned ship, ablaze from stem to stern, refused to accept her intended fate from friends. She still floated after receiving nine torpedoes and more than 400 rounds of 5-inch shellfire from destroyers USS Mustin (Lt.Cdr. W.F. Peterson) and USS Anderson (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Guthrie). Japanese destroyers hastened the inevitable by firing four 24-inch torpedoes at her blazing hull. At 0135, 27 October 1942 she finally went down. in position 08º38'S, 166º43'E.

Naval Aviation Chronology 1917-1919
JUNE 13, 1918
The first American-built aircraft to be assembled in France, an HS-1, made its first flight at Pauillac, piloted by Lieutenant C. P. Mason, USN, with Commander J. B. Patton, USN, and Lieutenant W. B. Jameson, USNRF, as passengers

Naval Aviation Chronology 1920-1929
DECEMBER 3, 1923
The establishment of a special service squadron, for the purpose of developing long-distance scouting planes, was approved by the Chief of Naval Operations. The squadron, designated VS Squadron 3, was initially based at NAS Anacostia and commanded by Lieutenant Commander C. P. Mason

Naval Chronology Of WWII, 1943  February 15, 1943
Joint air command designated Aircraft, Solomon Islands (Rear Adm. C. P. Mason) is established with headquarters at Guadalcanal.

While Mason was fighting the Pacific War, his only son was killed in an airplane crash in Nevada. Five years later, his son's young widow was killed in a car crash. The admiral and his wife were to raise their grandson C. P. Mason III. His son and grandson followed him by graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy. Thus, three generations of Charles Masons were academy graduates.

   
Other Comments:

Charles P. Mason, Vice Admiral, USN (1891-1971)
Naval aviator Mason led city as mayor through a major period of Pensacola’s growth

One of the earliest Naval aviators to earn his wings in Pensacola returned after his retirement to help lead the city during a major growth period.Vice Admiral Charles P. Mason began his second career when he became Pensacola’s mayor in 1947, a job he held for 10 years. At first he was a mayor selected from outside the council, but wanting to have a real say in government, Mason ran for the City Council and was elected. He resigned in 1957 because of his failing eyesight.  His sight repaired, he was again appointed mayor in 1963 and held the job for two more years.

Mason was born on January 12, 1891, in Harrisburg, PA, and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1912. He came to Pensacola and entered flight training in May 1916, graduating in 1917 as Naval aviator No. 52.

As was often the case when new Naval aviators graduated and left Pensacola, along with their new gold wings was a new wife. Young Mason had married Pensacolian Ralphine Fisher, the daughter of Will Fisher Jr. By this time, the United States was in World War I and Mason was ordered to Europe. When he returned to Pensacola it was to meet his new son, Charles Jr.

At the end of World War I, America placed an emphasis on the airplane, believing that future wars would be fought in the air. With Mason’s knowledge of aviation, he was given assignments to several stations, including Pensacola in 1920-21. On this tour of duty, he was superintendent of aviation training. At one time he was in charge of the first aircraft carrier, the old USS Langley. He conducted a number of experiments that led to changes in the design of carriers.

In 1940, Mason was ordered to Jacksonville, where he became the first commanding officer of the new Jacksonville Naval Air Station. He was there when Pearl Harbor was attacked in December 1941. He then took over the helm of the USS Hornet, which was destroyed in the Battle of Santa Cruz. “For his heroic defense of the ship he was promoted to rear admiral,” according to one report. He received the Navy Cross for this event.

While Mason was fighting the Pacific War, his only son was killed in an airplane crash in Nevada. Five years later, his son’s young widow was killed in a car crash. The admiral and his wife were to raise their grandson C. P. Mason III. His son and grandson followed him by graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy. Thus, three generations of Charles Masons were academy graduates.

In April 1946, the Admiral requested retirement after 38 years of active duty. He settled first in Jacksonville and then returned to his wife’s hometown. He had always maintained his voting residence in Pensacola, so when the City Council failed to agree on a mayoral candidate, they asked Mason if he would fill the position.

It was under Mason that Oliver J. Semmes Jr., the city engineer, became city manager. Much growth took place with Mason and Semmes running the government. The gas company was bought from Gulf Power Co. and areas outside the city were annexed, including East Pensacola Heights. The city increased size from less than 10 square miles to more than 17 square miles. A new public library was built and the library moved from Old Christ Church. Plans for a municipal auditorium were completed and an old Frisco engine was given to the city and placed in the Garden Street plaza. Mason was an avid baseball fan and the baseball park, now Veterans Park, was named Admiral Mason Park.

In addition to the Navy Cross, Mason also received the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star and honors from the governments of Mexico, Chile, Peru and Brazil. He was a Rotarian, a Mason and a member of the Boy Scouts of America. A number of admirals were honorary pallbearers for his Christ Episcopal Church funeral. Admiral Mason died August 13, 1971 and was buried at St. John’s Cemetery 5 North, Section 67.
   
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World War I
Start Year
1917
End Year
1918

Description
The United States of America declared war on the German Empire on April 6, 1917. The U.S. was an independent power and did not officially join the Allies. It closely cooperated with them militarily but acted alone in diplomacy. The U.S. made its major contributions in terms of supplies, raw material and money, starting in 1917. American soldiers under General John J. Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), arrived in large numbers on the Western Front in the summer of 1918. They played a major role until victory was achieved on November 11, 1918. Before entering the war, the U.S had remained neutral, though it had been an important supplier to Great Britain and the other Allied powers. During the war, the U.S mobilized over 4 million military personnel and suffered 110,000 deaths, including 43,000 due to the influenza pandemic. The war saw a dramatic expansion of the United States government in an effort to harness the war effort and a significant increase in the size of the U.S. military. After a slow start in mobilising the economy and labour force, by spring 1918 the nation was poised to play a role in the conflict. Under the leadership of President Woodrow Wilson, the war represented the climax of the Progressive Era as it sought to bring reform and democracy to the world, although there was substantial public opposition to United States entry into the war.

Although the United States declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917, it did not initially declare war on the other Central Powers, a state of affairs that Woodrow Wilson described as an "embarrassing obstacle" in his State of the Union speech. Congress declared war on the Austro-Hungarian Empire on December 17, 1917, but never made declarations of war against the other Central Powers, Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire or the various Co-belligerents allied with the central powers, thus the United States remained uninvolved in the military campaigns in central, eastern and southern Europe, the Middle East, the Caucasus, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Pacific.

The United States as late as 1917 maintained only a small army, smaller than thirteen of the nations and empires already active in the war. After the passage of the Selective Service Act in 1917, it drafted 2.8 million men into military service. By the summer of 1918 about a million U.S. soldiers had arrived in France, about half of whom eventually saw front-line service; by the Armistice of November 11 approximately 10,000 fresh soldiers were arriving in France daily. In 1917 Congress gave U.S. citizenship to Puerto Ricans when they were drafted to participate in World War I, as part of the Jones Act. In the end Germany miscalculated the United States' influence on the outcome of the conflict, believing it would be many more months before U.S. troops would arrive and overestimating the effectiveness of U-boats in slowing the American buildup.

The United States Navy sent a battleship group to Scapa Flow to join with the British Grand Fleet, destroyers to Queenstown, Ireland and submarines to help guard convoys. Several regiments of Marines were also dispatched to France. The British and French wanted U.S. units used to reinforce their troops already on the battle lines and not to waste scarce shipping on bringing over supplies. The U.S. rejected the first proposition and accepted the second. General John J. Pershing, American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) commander, refused to break up U.S. units to serve as mere reinforcements for British Empire and French units. As an exception, he did allow African-American combat regiments to fight in French divisions. The Harlem Hellfighters fought as part of the French 16th Division, earning a unit Croix de Guerre for their actions at Château-Thierry, Belleau Wood, and Séchault.

Impact of US forces on the war
On the battlefields of France in spring 1918, the war-weary Allied armies enthusiastically welcomed the fresh American troops. They arrived at the rate of 10,000 a day, at a time when the Germans were unable to replace their losses. After British Empire, French and Portuguese forces had defeated and turned back the powerful final German offensive (Spring Offensive of March to July, 1918), the Americans played a role in the Allied final offensive (Hundred Days Offensive of August to November). However, many American commanders used the same flawed tactics which the British, French, Germans and others had abandoned early in the war, and so many American offensives were not particularly effective. Pershing continued to commit troops to these full- frontal attacks, resulting in high casualties against experienced veteran German and Austrian-Hungarian units. Nevertheless, the infusion of new and fresh U.S. troops greatly strengthened the Allies' strategic position and boosted morale. The Allies achieved victory over Germany on November 11, 1918 after German morale had collapsed both at home and on the battlefield.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1917
To Year
1918
 
Last Updated:
Mar 21, 2017
   
Personal Memories

Memories
Naval Aviation Chronology 1917-1919
JUNE 13, 1918
The first American-built aircraft to be assembled in France, an HS-1, made its first flight at Pauillac, piloted by Lieutenant C. P. Mason, USN, with Commander J. B. Patton, USN, and Lieutenant W. B. Jameson, USNRF, as passengers

   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
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  559 Also There at This Battle:
  • Alvarez, Percy Joseph, ENS, (1918-1918)
  • Bagby, Oliver Walton, LCDR, (1908-1925)
  • Barkalow, Laird Holmes, S1c, (1917-1921)
  • Bennett, Floyd, Mach., (1917-1928)
  • Brady, John Joseph (ChC), RDML, (1914-1934)
  • Brown, Kendal Harold, CPO, (1915-1944)
  • Burke, Edward, CPO, (1898-1920)
  • Carroll, William, F1c, (1917-1919)
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