LTJG DONALD ARTHUR GARY
Japanese Home Islands near Kobe, Japan
19 March 1945
LT Gary was serving as an engineering officer attached to the U.S.S. Franklin when Franklin was attacked by enemy aircraft during. Franklin was rocked by a series of violent explosions set off in her own ready bombs, rockets, and ammunition.
Lt. Gary discovered several men trapped in a smoked filled compartment. As men below decks became increasingly panic-stricken by the incessant explosions, LT. Gary confidently assured them he would get them out.
Groping through the dark, debris-filled corridors, Gary discovered an escape route that was unblocked. He struggled back to the messing compartment 3 times despite menacing flames, flooding water, and the ominous threat of sudden additional explosions, on each occasion calmly leading his men through the blanketing pall of smoke until the last one had been saved.
As the battle raged, the Lt, constantly rallied others about him, repeatedly organized and led fire-fighting parties into the blazing inferno on the flight deck and, when firerooms 1 and 2 were rendered useless , her entered the No. 3 fireroom and directed the raising of steam in 1 boiler. An inspiring and courageous leader, Lt. was responsible for the saving of several hundred lives.
LT. Gary made that last patrol on April 9, 1977 (aged 75)