Lt(jg) Nathan G. Gordon
U. S. Navy, VP-34
Born September 4, 1916 in Morrilton, Arkansas.
On February 15, 1944 took off piloting PBY Catalina "Arkansas Traveler" 08139 on a patrol and rescue mission over Kavieng.
|Medal of Honor Citation
extraordinary heroism above and beyond the call of duty as commander of a Catalina
patrol plane in rescuing personnel of the U.S.
Army 5th Air Force shot down in combat over Kavieng Harbor in the Bismarck
Sea, 15 February 1944. On air alert in the vicinity of Vitu Islands, Lt.
(then Lt. j.g.) Gordon unhesitatingly responded to a report of the crash
and flew boldly into the harbor, defying close-range fire from enemy shore
guns to make 3 separate landings in full view of the Japanese and pick up
9 men, several of them injured. With his cumbersome flying boat dangerously
overloaded, he made a brilliant takeoff despite heavy swells and almost total
absence of wind and set a course for base, only to receive the report of
another group stranded in a rubber life raft 600 yards from the enemy shore.
Promptly turning back, he again risked his life to set his plane down under
direct fire of the heaviest defenses of Kavieng and take aboard 6 more survivors,
coolly making his fourth dexterous takeoff with 15 rescued officers and men.
By his exceptional daring, personal valor, and incomparable airmanship under
most perilous conditions, Lt. Gordon prevented certain death or capture of
our airmen by the Japanese."
Today, Gordon's Medal of Honor is displayed at the MacArthur
Museum of Arkansas Military History.
Thanks to Nate Gordon for additional information.