CHANNING GARDNER, LTJG, USN
Channing Gardner '49
Date of birth: August 25, 1926
Date of death: May 29, 1952
From the 1949 Lucky Bag:
From Find A Grave:
Lt. Gardner Dies In Korea Crash
Lt. (JG) Channing Gardner, 25, USN, son of Mr. and Mrs. James E. Gardner, 1220 East First Street, was killed when his fighter plane crashed in Korean waters, it was learned yesterday.
Navy officials informed his parents that Lieutenant Gardner's plane crashed on take off from a Navy carrier. His body was not recovered.
The officer had been assigned to the carrier USS Valley Forge since last December and had completed numerous missions attacking enemy rail and supply lines.
His plane was once struck by enemy anti-aircraft fire, forcing him to ditch in the sea in sub zero weather.
Lieutenant Gardner was a graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland and took flight training at Pensacola, Florida. He was commissioned in June, 1949. Duluth News Tribune: May 30, 1952
From Find A Grave:
Lieutenant Junior Grade Gardner was the pilot of a F4U-4 Corsair fighter with Fighter Squadron 653 aboard the aircraft carrier USS VALLEY FORGE (CV-45). On May 29, 1952, during take-off on a combat mission, his aircraft crashed into the sea. His remains were not recovered.
Awarded Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with Gold Star, Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.
Distinguished Flying Cross
From Hall of Valor:
(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Lieutenant, Junior Grade Channing Gardner (NSN: 0-521458), United States Navy, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (Posthumously) for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight while serving with Fighter Squadron SIX HUNDRED FIFTY-THREE (VF-653), embarked in U.S.S. VALLEY FORGE (CV-45), in action against enemy aggressor forces in Korea on 18 December 1951.
General Orders: All Hands (February 1953)
Action Date: December 18, 1951
Rank: Lieutenant Junior Grade
Company: Fighter Squadron 653 (VF-653)
Division: U.S.S. Valley Forge (CV-45)
Memorial Hall Error?
Channing is not listed on the killed in action panel in the front of Memorial Hall. While not an obvious error, inclusion on the panel for crashes like this (incidental to combat flights) has been inconsistent across WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.