Lowry, Frank Jacob, VADM

Deceased
 
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Last Rank
Vice Admiral
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1947-1950, NAVSTA Mare Island, CA
Service Years
1911 - 1950
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral

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Home State
Iowa
Iowa
Year of Birth
1888
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember Lowry, Frank Jacob, VADM.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Cresco, IA
Last Address
Vallejo, CA

Date of Passing
Mar 26, 1955
 
Location of Interment
Buried at Sea, Pacific Ocean
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Ashes scattered from the Cruiser Bremerton.

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Last Known Activity

Admiral Lowry began his naval career with his appointment to the Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland in 1907. He was graduated in June, 1911. He first served at Mare Island in 1919, when he assumed command of the receiving ship and training station, following Atlantic patrol duty in World War I. His work between the two world wars included assignment to Guam, the Naval College at Newport, Rhode Island, duty on the battleships California and New York, at the University of California as professor of Naval science and tactics, command of the U.S.S. Hale, training work and a Washington tour in the bureau of navigation.

In 1940 he took command of the heavy cruiser, "
Minneapolis" at Pearl Harbor, and the ship was the entrance to the harbor standing by to escort a convoy to Manila when the Japanese attacked. During the first year of the war, the "Minneapolis" operated in the southwest Pacific, and rescued 850 of the crew of the Lexington, which was sunk in the battle of the Coral Sea. This action resulted in the Navy Cross award for Admiral Lowry.

He also participated in the battle of Midway, the first landing at
Guadalcanal, and the battle of the Eastern Solomons, where the "Minneapolis" towed the torpedoed "Saratoga" from the danger area.

He served briefly on stateside duty in 1942 and was then named commander of the
Morocean Sea frontier, with headquarters at Casablanca. He then took command of the landing craft and bases at Salerno, Italy, and in November, 1943, became commander of the eighth Amphibian force.

Under his command the combined
United States and British naval forces planned and assaulted the beaches at Anzio in January, 1944. He then commanded the landing in Southern France in August, 1944, and returned to the United States to organize and amphibious group for the invasion of Japan. When the war ended, he was ordered to Germany to serve under General Patton. He was named area commander of Mare Island, October 30, 1947, succeeding Vice Admiral Mahlan D. Tisdale, the first to hold the area command position.

Admiral Lowry was awarded 21 medals, ranging from the highest Navy honor and Navy cross, to six decorations from foreign governments.

He retired from active duty as commander of the
Mare Island
in March, 1950.
   
Other Comments:

Navy Cross
Awarded for Actions During WWII
General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 311 (February 1943)
Action Date: May 7 & 8, 1942
Service: Navy
Rank: Captain
Company: Commanding Officer
Division: U.S.S. Minneapolis (CA-36)
Citation: The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Captain Frank Jacob Lowry, United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the Heavy Cruiser U.S.S. MINNEAPOLIS (CA-36), during operations in Coral Sea on 7 and 8 May 1942 . Under Captain Lowry's skillful direction, his ship during this action inflicted considerable damage on the enemy Japanese and rendered vital protection to the aircraft carrier to which it was assigned. Captain Lowry'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.
   
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Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Battle of the Coral Sea
From Month/Year
May / 1942
To Month/Year
May / 1942

Description
The Battle of the Coral Sea, fought during 4–8 May 1942, was a major naval battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II between the Imperial Japanese Navy and naval and air forces from the United States and Australia. The battle was the first action in which aircraft carriers engaged each other, as well as the first in which neither side's ships sighted or fired directly upon the other.

In an attempt to strengthen their defensive positioning for their empire in the South Pacific, Japanese forces decided to invade and occupy Port Moresby in New Guinea and Tulagi in the southeastern Solomon Islands. The plan to accomplish this, called Operation MO, involved several major units of Japan's Combined Fleet, including two fleet carriers and a light carrier to provide air cover for the invasion fleets, under the overall command of Japanese Admiral Shigeyoshi Inoue. The US learned of the Japanese plan through signals intelligence and sent two United States Navy carrier task forces and a joint Australian-American cruiser force, under the overall command of American Admiral Frank J. Fletcher, to oppose the Japanese offensive.

On 3–4 May, Japanese forces successfully invaded and occupied Tulagi, although several of their supporting warships were surprised and sunk or damaged by aircraft from the US fleet carrier Yorktown. Now aware of the presence of US carriers in the area, the Japanese fleet carriers entered the Coral Sea with the intention of finding and destroying the Allied naval forces.

Beginning on 7 May, the carrier forces from the two sides exchanged airstrikes over two consecutive days. The first day, the US sank the Japanese light carrier Shoho, while the Japanese sank a US destroyer and heavily damaged a fleet oiler (which was later scuttled). The next day, the Japanese fleet carrier Shokaku was heavily damaged, the US fleet carrier Lexington was critically damaged (and was scuttled as a result), and the Yorktown was damaged. With both sides having suffered heavy losses in aircraft and carriers damaged or sunk, the two fleets disengaged and retired from the battle area. Because of the loss of carrier air cover, Inoue recalled the Port Moresby invasion fleet, intending to try again later.

Although a tactical victory for the Japanese in terms of ships sunk, the battle would prove to be a strategic victory for the Allies for several reasons. The battle marked the first time since the start of the war that a major Japanese advance had been checked by the Allies. More importantly, the Japanese fleet carriers Sokaku and Zuikaku – one damaged and the other with a depleted aircraft complement – were unable to participate in the Battle of Midway, which took place the following month, ensuring a rough parity in aircraft between the two adversaries and contributing significantly to the US victory in that battle. The severe losses in carriers at Midway prevented the Japanese from reattempting to invade Port Moresby from the ocean. Two months later, the Allies took advantage of Japan's resulting strategic vulnerability in the South Pacific and launched the Guadalcanal Campaign that, along with the New Guinea Campaign, eventually broke Japanese defenses in the South Pacific and was a significant contributing factor to Japan's ultimate defeat in World War II.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Month/Year
May / 1942
To Month/Year
May / 1942
 
Last Updated:
Mar 16, 2020
   
Personal Memories
   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  155 Also There at This Battle:
  • Banzuelo, Antonio, MCPO, (1930-1960)
  • Gayler, Noel, ADM, (1935-1976)
  • Gregory, William, PO1, (1935-1943)
  • Jacobs, Robert Peter, PO2, (1941-1943)
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