Chung-Hoon, Gordon Pai'ea, RADM

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Last Rank
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Primary Unit
1957-1959, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, CNO - OPNAV
Service Years
1934 - 1959
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Rear Admiral Upper Half

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Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Michael Kohan (Mikey), ATCS to remember Chung-Hoon, Gordon Pai'ea, RADM.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Honolulu, HI
Last Address
Honolulu, HI

Date of Passing
Jul 24, 1979
Location of Interment
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific - Honolulu, Hawaii
Wall/Plot Coordinates
M 454A

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Last Known Activity

RADM Chung-Hoon was the first Asian-American to be appointed to and graduate from the US Naval Academy. When he was promoted to Rear Admiral upon his retirement, he became the first Asian-American flag officer of the US Navy.

After his Navy service, Gordon Chucng-Hoon served as the director of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (1/1961-6/1963). He then worked as a realtor.
Other Comments:

Navy Cross
Awarded for Actions During World War II
Service: Navy
Division: U.S.S. Sigsbee (DD-502)
General Orders: Commander 1st Carrier Task Force Pacific: Serial 0534 (1945)
Citation: The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Commander Gordon Paiea Chung-Hoon, United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of this profession as Commanding Officer of the Destroyer U.S.S. SIGSBEE (DD-502), a unit of an Advanced Picket Group, in action against enemy Japanese forces in the vicinity of Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands, on 14 April 1945. Although his ship suffered major damage when struck by an enemy plane and all power was lost, Commander Chung-Hoon coolly carried out defensive maneuvers and directed his anti-aircraft batteries in delivering prolonged and effective fire against the continued heavy enemy air attack. Afterwards, he supervised damage-control procedure which resulted in his ship being made sea-worthy for a safe return to port under its own restored power. Commander Chung-Hoon's gallant fighting spirit, courage and unwavering devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
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Korean War/UN Offensive (1950)/Operation Wonson
From Month/Year
October / 1950
To Month/Year
October / 1950

On October 10, Lieutenant Commander Bruce Hyatt was leading a force of one destroyer, USS Endicott and five minesweepers on a minesweeping patrol off Wonsan. The five minesweepers were the USS Pirate as flagship, USS Incredible, USS Kite, USS Redhead and USS Pledge, all similarly armed and built during World War II. On the morning of October 12, the formation was steaming in a channel between the islands of Rei-To and Soku-Semu when at 11:12 am, the warships changed course to 258 degrees into unswept waters. The channel is 2,000 yards (1,800 m) wide and 14 miles (23 km) long.

At 11:54 five contact mines were discovered in intervals of 50 yards (46 m) and disposed of. Six minutes later at 12:01, a helicopter from the Endicott reported that there were three lines of mines off Rei-To, Soku-Semu, Koto and Roto. The specific position of the mines was not clarified but still the American vessels altered their intended course and headed for the field. Due to the threat of contact, Lieutenant Commander Hyatt ordered his ships to battle stations and the crews to disperse themselves evenly across the ships in order to minimize casualties caused by an explosion.

While making the wide turn into the direction of the mines, USS Pirate struck a mine at 12:09 along frame sixty-two on the starboard side. A giant column of water was sent up and at the same time the North Korean shore batteries from Kei-To and Soku-Semu began to shoot shells at the stricken ship. As soon as the communists engaged, the Endicott and the remaining minesweepers returned fire on at least three separate batteries.

Pirate began listing to port at about twenty degrees and when it reached fifteen, Lieutenant Cornelius E. McMullen ordered the evacuation of his ship. Within four minutes, the Pirate was hit, capsized and sank completely, taking down six enlisted men. Around sixty men went adrift, some in life rafts. At 12:04, just as the minesweeper turned over, the shore batteries resumed their shooting, this time on the sailors in the water.

Because of the accurate battery fire, the American ships could not achieve a complete rescue of the survivors for over four hours. Dozens of the adrift men were wounded by shrapnel and one man was killed. Five minutes after the Pirate was hit, the Pledge was engaged in a gunnery duel with one of the batteries. Simultaneously, the Pledge was hit by an artillery shell and struck a mine. Her commander, Lieutenant Richard O. Young, ordered his men to seal hatches and save the ship but about forty-five minutes later the crew abandoned the vessel and the Pledge was underwater. Five men were killed.

The KPA shore batteries were eventually silenced after several hours of fighting, enabling the American rescue of the remaining survivors. USS Redhead was heavily damaged in the battle; she received several hits from the batteries while rescuing survivors from both the Pirate and the Pledge. A total of twelve United States Navy sailors were killed in action and at least forty-three were wounded.
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Month/Year
October / 1950
To Month/Year
October / 1950
Last Updated:
Mar 16, 2020
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