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 

34 kb

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 




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 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 II
Start Year
1941
End Year
1945

Description
Overview of World War II 

World War II killed more people, involved more nations, and cost more money than any other war in history. Altogether, 70 million people served in the armed forces during the war, and 17 million combatants died. Civilian deaths were ever greater. At least 19 million Soviet civilians, 10 million Chinese, and 6 million European Jews lost their lives during the war.

World War II was truly a global war. Some 70 nations took part in the conflict, and fighting took place on the continents of Africa, Asia, and Europe, as well as on the high seas. Entire societies participated as soldiers or as war workers, while others were persecuted as victims of occupation and mass murder.

World War II cost the United States a million causalities and nearly 400,000 deaths. In both domestic and foreign affairs, its consequences were far-reaching. It ended the Depression, brought millions of married women into the workforce, initiated sweeping changes in the lives of the nation's minority groups, and dramatically expanded government's presence in American life.

The War at Home & Abroad

On September 1, 1939, World War II started when Germany invaded Poland. By November 1942, the Axis powers controlled territory from Norway to North Africa and from France to the Soviet Union. After defeating the Axis in North Africa in May 1941, the United States and its Allies invaded Sicily in July 1943 and forced Italy to surrender in September. On D-Day, June 6, 1944, the Allies landed in Northern France. In December, a German counteroffensive (the Battle of the Bulge) failed. Germany surrendered in May 1945.

The United States entered the war following a surprise attack by Japan on the U.S. Pacific fleet in Hawaii. The United States and its Allies halted Japanese expansion at the Battle of Midway in June 1942 and in other campaigns in the South Pacific. From 1943 to August 1945, the Allies hopped from island to island across the Central Pacific and also battled the Japanese in China, Burma, and India. Japan agreed to surrender on August 14, 1945 after the United States dropped the first atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Consequences:

1. The war ended Depression unemployment and dramatically expanded government's presence in American life. It led the federal government to create a War Production Board to oversee conversion to a wartime economy and the Office of Price Administration to set prices on many items and to supervise a rationing system.

2. During the war, African Americans, women, and Mexican Americans founded new opportunities in industry. But Japanese Americans living on the Pacific coast were relocated from their homes and placed in internment camps.

The Dawn of the Atomic Age

In 1939, Albert Einstein wrote a letter to President Roosevelt, warning him that the Nazis might be able to build an atomic bomb. On December 2, 1942, Enrico Fermi, an Italian refugee, produced the first self-sustained, controlled nuclear chain reaction in Chicago.

To ensure that the United States developed a bomb before Nazi Germany did, the federal government started the secret $2 billion Manhattan Project. On July 16, 1945, in the New Mexico desert near Alamogordo, the Manhattan Project's scientists exploded the first atomic bomb.

It was during the Potsdam negotiations that President Harry Truman learned that American scientists had tested the first atomic bomb. On August 6, 1945, the Enola Gay, a B-29 Superfortress, released an atomic bomb over Hiroshima, Japan. Between 80,000 and 140,000 people were killed or fatally wounded. Three days later, a second bomb fell on Nagasaki. About 35,000 people were killed. The following day Japan sued for peace.

President Truman's defenders argued that the bombs ended the war quickly, avoiding the necessity of a costly invasion and the probable loss of tens of thousands of American lives and hundreds of thousands of Japanese lives. His critics argued that the war might have ended even without the atomic bombings. They maintained that the Japanese economy would have been strangled by a continued naval blockade, and that Japan could have been forced to surrender by conventional firebombing or by a demonstration of the atomic bomb's power.

The unleashing of nuclear power during World War II generated hope of a cheap and abundant source of energy, but it also produced anxiety among large numbers of people in the United States and around the world.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1942
To Year
1942
 
Last Updated:
Nov 2, 2014
   
Personal Memories

Memories
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.

   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  1375 Also There at This Battle:
  • Abramson, Arthur, LT, (1942-1945)
  • Agesen, Bruce Martin, LCDR, (1942-1966)
  • Ahlfs, Jerold Francis, CDR, (1940-1954)
  • Alexander, William Patrick, S2c, (1942-1945)
  • Alexatos, Michael Stephen, CAPT, (1942-1970)
  • Ambellan, Charles Herbert, CAPT, (1942-1970)
  • Anderson, Leroy Marvin, LT, (1942-1946)
  • Arnold, Arlington Reid, LTJG, (1941-1946)
  • Arnold, John Jacob, LCDR, (1942-1976)
  • Azer, John, CAPT, (1928-1948)
  • Badger, Heber Jenkins, CAPT, (1941-1961)
  • Bainbridge, Robert, PO3, (1940-1949)
  • Ballard, John Vernon, LT, (1942-1966)
  • Barley, Donald Loree, LCDR, (1942-1946)
  • Barron, John Powers, CDR, (1936-1960)
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