On a journey of discovery to historical sites? Download the TracesOfWar app directly on Google Play or the Apple App Store.

Bell, Frederick Jackson

Date of birth:
September 5th, 1903 (Norfolk/Virginia, United States)
Date of death:
October 15th, 1994 (Miami/Florida, United States)
Service number:
58735
Nationality:
American (1776 - present, Republic)

Biography

Promotions:
1928: Lieutenant (junior grade);
May 2nd, 1934: Lieutenant;
1939: Lieutenant COmmander;
1942: Commander;
1944: Captain;
February 1st, 1948: Rear Admiral.

Career:
? - 1924: U.S. Naval Academy;
1924 - 1925: Aide Executive Officer/Junior Division Officer, Fire Control Division, U.S.S. Texas;
1925: Torpedo School, Newport, Rhode Island;
1926 - 1928: Torpedo Officer/Gunnery Officer U.S.S. John D. Edwards;
1929: Torpedo Officer U.S.S. Preston;
1929: Mooring Officer Airships U.S.S. Patoka;
1930 - 1931: Anti-aircraft Division Officer U.S.S. Concord;
1933 - 1934: Personnel and Athletics Officer, Staff VADM Walton R. Saxton;
1934 - 1935: Flag Secretary/Operations Officer U.S.S. West Virginia;
1935 - 1936: Main Battery Assistant/Tactical Officer U.S.S. West Virginia;
1936 - 1938: Aide RADM Adolphus Andrews, Training division, Bureau of Navigation;
1938 - 1941: Aide/FLag Lieutenant, VADM Andrews;
1941 - 1942: Damage Control Officer/First Lieutenant U.S.S. Boise;
May 30th, 1942 - April 22nd, 1943: Commanding Officer U.S.S. Grayson (DD 435);
1943 - 1945: Assistant Director of Officer Distribution, Bureau of Naval Personnel;
March 1945: Commanding Officer Destroyer Division;
April 1946: Staff Fleet Commander China;
July 1946: Director, Enlisted Performance Division, Bureau of Naval Personnel;
March 1947: Assistent Director of Enlisted Personnel, Bureau of Naval Personnel;
April 1947: Director of Enlisted Personnel, Bureau of Naval Personnel;
February 1st, 1948: Retirement.

Do you have more information about this person? Inform us!

Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Commander
Unit:
U.S.S. Grayson (DD-435), U.S. Navy (U.S.S. Grayson (DD-435), U.S. Navy)
Awarded on:
July 21st, 1943
Citation:
"For extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of this profession as Commanding Officer of the Destroyer U.S.S. GRAYSON (DD-435), during the Battle of Ontong, Java, against enemy Japanese forces on 24 August 1942. When his ship was subjected to repeated bombing and strafing attacks by enemy dive bombers at very close range, Commander Bell conned his vessel and directed the fire of his battery with outstanding efficiency, destroying at least two Japanese dive bombers and damaging others. Immediately following the engagement and during the night, he conducted a search for lost planes, taking his ship into enemy waters and away from the protections of friendly forces. Courageously exposing himself to attack by hostile air and surface units, he established the identity of the aircraft and, by flashing messages, directed our planes safely to the carriers, which had been forced to retire from the battle area, thereby saving a number of our aircraft from destruction. His devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 319 (October 1943).
Navy Cross
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Commander
Unit:
U.S.S. Grayson (DD-435), U.S. Navy (U.S.S. Grayson (DD-435), U.S. Navy)
Citation:
"For meritorious service as commanding officer of a destroyer which engaged enemy aircraft during operations in the Solomon Islands area, on the night of February 17, 1943. Commander Bell's ship participated in convoying troops, supplies, and equipment to Guadelcanal and on the above mentioned date assisted in repelling and frustrating an attack on the convoy by Japanes torpedo planes which resulted in a loss of at least five planes. By his courage, perseverance, and determination he brought his ship through on this occasion without damage and contributed materially to the successful accomplishment of the mission of the entire force. His conduc throughout was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

Awarded with "V" for Valor.
Bronze Star  Medal (BSM)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)

Awarded with "FLEET" bar.
American Defence Service Medal
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)

Awarded with two silver and a golden star (seven campaigns).
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal

Sources

Photo