Vraciu, Alexander

Date of birth:
November 2nd, 1918 (East Chicago/Indiana, United States)
Nationality:
American (1776 - present, Republic)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Lieutenant (junior grade)
Unit:
Fighting Squadron 16 (VF-16), U.S.S. Lexington (CV-16) (Fighting Squadron 16 (VF-16), U.S.S. Lexington (CV-16))
Action:
Citation:
"For extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Fighter Plane in Fighting Squadron SIXTEEN (VF-16), attached to the U.S.S. LEXINGTON (CV-16), during operations in the vicinity of the Marianas Islands. On 12 June 1944 while participating in a daring strike against enemy shipping in a Saipan Harbor, Commander Vraciu dove through intense anti-aircraft fire to sink a large enemy merchant ship by a direct hit on its stern. On 14 June 1944 in the course of a strike against enemy positions in the islands of North of Saipan, Commander Vraciu sighted an enemy search plane. Despite an altitude disadvantage, he approached the plane so skillfully keeping in its "blind spot" that he was able to overhaul it and shoot it down. On 19 June 1944 with his Task Force under attack by a numerically superior force of enemy aircraft, Commander Vraciu struck furiously at the hostile bombers and, in the face of vigorous fighter opposition, succeeded in shooting down six thus contributing to the break-up of a concentrated enemy attack. On 20 June 1944 while flying escort for bomber and Torpedo Planes on a long-range strike against the Japanese Fleet, Commander Vraciu fearlessly closed with a group of hostile fighters, blasting one from the sky and severely damaging another to enable our forces to attack and disable a Japanese carrier. By his devotion to duty, Commander Vraciu reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."
Navy Cross

Sources

  • Photo 1: Bill Gonyo
  • Photo: Bill Gonyo
  • - Sterner C.D., Recipients of The Navy Cross, 1916 - Present
    - Home of Heroes

Photo