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Earnest, Albert Kyle "Bert"

Date of birth:
April 1st, 1917 (Richmond/Virginia, United States)
Date of death:
October 27th, 2009 (Virginia Beach City/Virginia, United States)
Buried on:
Arlington National Cemetery
Plot: 7. Row: GG. Grave: Column 4-4.
Nationality:
American (1776 - present, Republic)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Ensign
Unit:
Torpedo Squadron 8 (VT-8), U.S.S. Saratoga (CV-3), U.S. Navy
Awarded on:
March 1943
"For extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Torpedo Plane of Torpedo Squadron EIGHT (VT-8), embarked from Naval Air Station Midway during the "Air Battle of Midway," against enemy Japanese forces on 4 June 1942. In the first attack against an enemy carrier of the Japanese invasion fleet, Ensign Earnest pressed home his attack in the face of withering fire from enemy Japanese fighters and anti-aircraft forces. His loyal devotion to duty and his utter disregard for his own personal safety in attacking a superior enemy force were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 312
Navy Cross
"For extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Torpedo Plane of Torpedo Squadron EIGHT (VT-8), embarked from Naval Air Station Midway during the "Air Battle of Midway," against enemy Japanese forces on 4 June 1942. Having completed an unsupported torpedo attack in the face of tremendous enemy fighter and anti-aircraft opposition, Ensign Earnest, himself wounded and his gunner dead, made his return flight in a plane riddled by machine gun bullets and cannon shell. With his compass and Bombay doors inoperative, one wheel of his landing gear unable to be extended and his elevator-control shot away, he was forced to fly by expert use of his elevator trimming tabs some 200 miles back to Midway where he negotiated a safe one-wheel landing. Fully aware of the inestimable importance of determining the combat efficiency of a heretofore unproven plane, Ensign Earnest doggedly persisted in spite of tremendous hazards and physical difficulties. His great courage and marked skill in handling his crippled plane were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 312 (Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Navy Cross)
"For extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Torpedo Plane in Torpedo Squadron EIGHT (VT-8), attached to the U.S.S. HORNET (CV-8), in action on 16 and 22 September 1942, and 9 to 12 October 1942, while deployed over the Solomon Islands. As part of a composite striking force which launched an attack against hostile surface units about 150 miles northwest of Guadalcanal, Lieutenant (junior grade), Earnest contributed to the scoring of a torpedo hit on a Japanese cruiser. On 22 September, together with two other torpedo bombers, he glide-bombed enemy installations at Cape Esperance. On 9 October, in a striking force operating 140 miles northwest of Guadalcanal, he obtained a direct hit which put a heavy cruiser out of action. On 10 and 12 October he participated in air raids against Japanese naval units which resulted in another hit on an enemy warship about 165 miles off Guadalcanal. His cool courage and conscientious devotion to duty, maintained at great risk in the face of grave danger, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 315 (Second Gold Star in lieu of a Third Award of the Navy Cross)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)

Gold Star in lieu
Air Medal (AM)

Sources

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