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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Gilbert Islands Operation/Battle of Tarawa
Start Year
1943
End Year
1943

Description
The Battle of Tarawa (US code name Operation Galvanic) was a battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II, fought from November 20 to November 23, 1943. It took place at the Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands, located in what is now the nation of Kiribati. Nearly 6,400 Japanese, Koreans, and Americans died in the fighting, mostly on and around the small island of Betio.

The Battle of Tarawa was the first American offensive in the critical central Pacific region. It was also the first time in the war that the United States faced serious Japanese opposition to an amphibious landing. Previous landings met little or no initial resistance. but this time the 4,500 Japanese defenders were well-supplied and well-prepared, and they fought almost to the last man, exacting a heavy toll on the United States Marine Corps. The U.S. had suffered similar casualties in other campaigns, for example over the six months of the Guadalcanal Campaign, but in this case the losses were incurred within the space of 76 hours.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1943
To Year
1943
 
Last Updated:
Mar 29, 2019
   
Personal Memories
   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  120 Also There at This Battle:
  • BEHRMANN, LOUIS, CPO, (1941-1947)
  • Carter, Loyd, PO3, (1941-1945)
  • Dawson, William L., PO2, (1942-1945)
  • Freeman, Harold, CMC, (1943-1975)
  • Fuller, Leroy, PO1, (1941-1945)
  • Greer, Howard E., VADM, (1941-1978)
  • Lucas, Charles S., PO3, (1943-1946)
  • Lucas, Charles, PO3, (1942-1945)
  • Medaglia, Michael, S1c, (1942-1946)
  • Nichols, Monte, CPO, (1941-1947)
  • Seamster, Wilbur Lee, S2c, (1943-1946)
  • Smith, Bill, PO3, (1943-1945)
  • Soucy, Ronald, PO2, (1942-1945)
  • Streitenberger, Robert, PO2, (1942-1946)
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