Semmes, Raphael, IV, CAPT

Deceased
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Captain
Last Primary NEC
131X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Pilot
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1965-1967, 131X, NAF El Centro
Service Years
1938 - 1967
Captain
Captain

 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
Alabama
Alabama
Year of Birth
1916
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by the Site Administrator to remember Semmes, Raphael, IV, CAPT USN(Ret).
 
Contact Info
Home Town
Montgomery, AL
Last Address
El Centro, CA

Date of Passing
Jan 29, 1981
 
Location of Interment
Evergreen Cemetery - El Centro, California
Wall/Plot Coordinates
B 5 64

 Official Badges 

US Navy Retired 20


 Unofficial Badges 




 Military Association Memberships
WW II Memorial National RegistryUnited States Navy Memorial
  2019, WW II Memorial National Registry
  2019, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page


 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Raphael Semmes, IV, was born in Montgomery, Alabama, on 18 January 1916, son of Raphael and Louise (Thornton) Semmes. He attended Huntsville (Alabama) High School and the Marion (Alabama) Institute, prior to entering the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, on appointment from his native state in 1934. Graduated and commissioned Ensign on 2 June 1938, he subsequently advanced in rank, attaining that of Captain, to date from 1 July 1957.

On board USS St Louis, he was present during the Japanese Attack on the Naval Base, at Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, on 7 December 1941 and subsequently participated in the raids on the Marshall and Gilbert Islands in February 1942 and in the cruiser bombardment of the Aleutian Islands in August of that year.

As pilot of a Fighter Plane in Composite Squadron NINETY-EIGHT...and as Flight Leader of the strike groups from three carriers during attacks on enemy installations and shipping in the Chosen Archipelago, China, on 28 July and 6 August 1945...' He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. The citation further states in part: 'Skillfully avoiding attacks on friendly Chinese shipping, (he) directed strikes on Ting Hai Airfield and Harbor Shipping in the Chosen Area, despite adverse weather conditions and intense antiaircraft fire. By his leadership and courage, he contributed materially to the success of both missions...'

He was also awarded the Air Medal and a Gold Star in lieu of the Second Air Medal for completing ten missions from 7 January to 7 August 1945 and is entitled to the Ribbon for, and a facsimile of the Presidential Unit Citation awarded the USS Lunga Point.

In addition to the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with Gold Star and the Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon, Captain Semmes has the American Defense Service Medal with star; the American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; World War Two Victory Medal; Navy Occupation Service Medal, Asia Clasp; and National Defense Service Medal.

Captain Semmes retired from the US Navy in July 1967. He passed away in El Centro, California 29 January 1981.

   
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World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater
Start Year
1941
End Year
1945

Description
The European-Mediterranean-Middle East Theater was a major theater of operations during the Second World War (between December 7, 1941, and March 2, 1946). The vast size of Europe, Mediterranean and Middle East theatre saw interconnected naval, land, and air campaigns fought for control of the Mediterranean, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. The fighting in this theatre lasted from 10 June 1940, when Italy entered the war on the side of Germany, until 2 May 1945 when all Axis forces in Italy surrendered. However, fighting would continue in Greece – where British troops had been dispatched to aid the Greek government – during the early stages of the Greek Civil War.

The British referred to this theatre as the Mediterranean and Middle East Theatre (so called due to the location of the fighting and the name of the headquarters that controlled the initial fighting: Middle East Command) while the Americans called the theatre of operations the Mediterranean Theatre of War. The German official history of the fighting is dubbed 'The Mediterranean, South-East Europe, and North Africa 1939–1942'. Regardless of the size of the theatre, the various campaigns were not seen as neatly separated areas of operations but part of one vast theatre of war.

Fascist Italy aimed to carve out a new Roman Empire, while British forces aimed initially to retain the status quo. Italy launched various attacks around the Mediterranean, which were largely unsuccessful. With the introduction of German forces, Yugoslavia and Greece were overrun. Allied and Axis forces engaged in back and forth fighting across North Africa, with Axis interference in the Middle East causing fighting to spread there. With confidence high from early gains, German forces planned elaborate attacks to be launched to capture the Middle East and then to possibly attack the southern border of the Soviet Union. However, following three years of fighting, Axis forces were defeated in North Africa and their interference in the Middle East was halted. Allied forces then commenced an invasion of Southern Europe, resulting in the Italians switching sides and deposing Mussolini. A prolonged battle for Italy took place, and as the strategic situation changed in southeast Europe, British troops returned to Greece.

The theatre of war, the longest during the Second World War, resulted in the destruction of the Italian Empire and altered the strategic position of Germany resulting in numerous German divisions being deployed to Africa and Italy and total losses (including those captured upon final surrender) being over half a million. Italian losses, in the theatre, amount to around to 177,000 men with a further several hundred thousand captured during the process of the various campaigns. British losses amount to over 300,000 men killed, wounded, or captured, and total American losses in the region amounted to 130,000.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1943
To Year
1943
 
Last Updated:
Mar 29, 2019
   
Personal Memories
   
Units Participated in Operation

USS Andres (DE-45)

 
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  277 Also There at This Battle:
  • Beckwith, John Edward, S1c, (1942-1945)
  • Brandrup, Claus, PO2, (1942-1945)
  • Brown, Kendal Harold, CPO, (1915-1944)
  • Brown, Perry Thompson, C.B., (1942-1945)
  • Brown, Ronald, SCPO, (1943-1968)
  • CORY, AL, MCPO, (1940-1970)
  • Coyne, Terence Augustine, CPO, (1942-1945)
  • Dean, Kenneth
  • Deese, Paul, PO2, (1942-1946)
  • Eads, Ray, PO2, (1942-1945)
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