GORDON E. SCHECTER, CDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Gordon Schecter '35

Date of birth: June 4, 1912

Date of death: March 18, 1945

Age: 32

Lucky Bag

From the 1935 Lucky Bag:


Loss

1935 Schecter 1.jpg

Gordon was lost when his F6F-5 Hellcat was shot down over Okinawa on March 18, 1945. He was commanding officer of Air Group (CAG) 45, flying from USS San Jacinto (CVL 30). The aircraft belonged to Fighting Squadron (VF) 45.

His wife was listed as next of kin; they married on June 1, 1939 in Pensacola, Florida. Gordon's remains were recovered and returned to the United States in 1949; he is buried in California.

Career

Gordon became naval aviator #5972 on May 16, 1939.

He became a fighter ace on February 16, 1945, when he was credited with his fifth air-to-air victory. He was commanding officer of Fighting Squadron (VF) 45 at the time.

Silver Star

1935 Schecter 2.jpg

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Commander Gordon Eugene Schecter (NSN: 0-74846), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Commanding Officer of a Carrier Air Group in the U.S.S. SAN JACINTO (CVL-30). On 16 February 1945, he led his group in a coordinated attack against a vital enemy aircraft plant north of Tokyo. Despite adverse weather conditions and intense anti-aircraft fire his group caused heavy damage to the installations. On retirement from the target his group was viciously attacked by an overwhelming number of enemy fighter planes and a furious air battle ensured. During the course of this battle fighter and torpedo planes of his group destroyed at least twelve enemy planes without loss of a single plane. His courageous and unfaltering leadership and professional skill were an inspiration to each member of his group and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Commander in Chief Pacific: Serial 031822 (August 20, 1945)
Action Date: February 16, 1945
Service: Navy
Rank: Commander
Company: Commanding Officer
Regiment: Carrier Air Group
Division: U.S.S. San Jacinto (CVL-30)

Navy Directories & Officer Registers

The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.

The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.

The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.

October 1935

Ensign, USS Idaho

Others at this command: ENS Burden Hastings '33, ENS Graham Bright '35, and ENS Thomas Cummins '35.

January 1936

Ensign, USS Idaho

Others at this command: ENS Burden Hastings '33, ENS Graham Bright '35, and ENS Thomas Cummins '35.

April 1936

Ensign, USS Idaho

Others at this command: ENS Graham Bright '35 and ENS Thomas Cummins '35.

July 1936

Ensign, Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B, USS Idaho

Others at or embarked at USS Idaho: ENS Graham Bright '35 (USS Idaho), ENS Thomas Cummins '35 (USS Idaho), and ENS Arthur Gustafson '36 (USS Idaho).

January 1937

Ensign, Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B, USS Idaho

Others at or embarked at USS Idaho: ENS Thomas Cummins '35 (USS Idaho) and ENS Arthur Gustafson '36 (USS Idaho).

April 1937

Ensign, Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B, USS Idaho

Others at or embarked at USS Idaho: ENS Thomas Cummins '35 (USS Idaho) and ENS Arthur Gustafson '36 (USS Idaho).

September 1937

Ensign, Observation Squadron (VO) 3, USS Idaho

Others at or embarked at USS Idaho: ENS Thomas Cummins '35 (USS Idaho), ENS Arthur Gustafson '36 (USS Idaho), ENS Donald Patterson '37 (USS Idaho), ENS Macdonald Thompson '37 (USS Idaho), and ENS Raymond Moore '37 (USS Idaho).

January 1938

Ensign, Observation Squadron (VO) 3, USS Idaho

Others at or embarked at USS Idaho: ENS Arthur Gustafson '36 (USS Idaho), ENS Donald Patterson '37 (USS Idaho), ENS Macdonald Thompson '37 (USS Idaho), and ENS Raymond Moore '37 (USS Idaho).

October 1939

Lieutenant (j.g.), Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 6, USS Indianapolis

Others at or embarked at USS Indianapolis: ENS Byron Cooke '39 (USS Indianapolis) and ENS Rexford Ostrom '39 (USS Indianapolis).

June 1940

Lieutenant (j.g.), Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 6, USS Indianapolis

Others at or embarked at USS Indianapolis: ENS William Leedy '38 (USS Indianapolis).

November 1940

Lieutenant (j.g.), Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 6, USS Indianapolis

Others at or embarked at USS Indianapolis: ENS William Leedy '38 (USS Indianapolis).

April 1941

Lieutenant (j.g.), Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 6, USS Indianapolis

Others at or embarked at USS Indianapolis: ENS William Leedy '38 (USS Indianapolis).


Class of 1935

Gordon is one of 56 members of the Class of 1935 on Virtual Memorial Hall.