PATRICK H. HART, LT, USN
Patrick Hart '37
Date of birth: May 31, 1915
Date of death: June 4, 1942
From the 1937 Lucky Bag:
From Find A Grave:
Patrick H. Hart was born in New York City to Eugene J and Emma Elizabeth Carrell Hart who were married about 1901. They also had another son, Eugene James Jr born about 1904. Patrick entered the US Naval Academy on 13 Jun 1933 with an appointment from California. He was graduated and commissioned an Ensign on 3 Jun 1937.
His first duty was aboard the USS Colorado (BB-45) began on 30 Jun 1937 Later, according to the Naval History and Heritage Command, he served aboard the USS West Virginia (BB-48). He began his flight training in Jun 1939 in Pensacola, FL. He also earned a sub-speciality as a French language interpreter.
About the time he completed his flight training, he was promoted to Lt (Junior Grade) on 3 Jun 1940. About a month later on 5 July 1940 he began his tour with Torpedo Squadron Three (VT-3) embarked USS Saratago (CV-3). He was promoted to the temporary rank of Lieutenant on 02 Jan 1942. After the Saratoga (CV-3) was torpedoed and had to return to the West Coast for repairs, Torpedo Three was transferred to Hawaii. On 28 May 1942 they were transferred to the USS Yorktown.
It was from the Yorktown that Torpedo Three flew into battle on 4 Jun 1942 against the Japanese striking force. Of the twelve planes that took off from the Yorktown that morning only two returned, but had to ditch. Three of the four crewman survived. Lt Hart and his gunner/radioman, ARM1 Johnnie Ralph Cole, were missing in action. Their remains were unrecoverable. They were declared presumed dead on 5 Jun 1943. Lt Hart was awarded for his heroism the Navy Cross and the Purple Heart medals.
Patrick was executive officer of Torpedo Squadron (VT) 3. (Information from Richard Leonard, naval aviation historian.)
His mother was listed as next of kin.
From Hall of Valor:
The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Patrick Henry Hart (NSN: 0-78621), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Torpedo Plane and Executive Officer of Torpedo Squadron THREE (VT-3), attached to the U.S.S. YORKTOWN (CV-5), during the "Air Battle of Midway," against enemy Japanese forces on 4 June 1942. Participating in a Torpedo Plane assault against Japanese naval units, Lieutenant Hart, in the face of tremendous anti-aircraft fire and overwhelming fighter opposition, pressed home his attack to a point where it became relatively certain that, in order to accomplish his mission, he would probably sacrifice his life. Undeterred by the grave possibilities of such a hazardous offensive, he carried on, with extreme disregard for his own personal safety, until his squadron scored direct hits on two enemy aircraft carriers. His self sacrificing gallantry and fortitude were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 309 (December 1942)
Action Date: 4-Jun-42
Company: Torpedo Squadron 3 (VT-3)
Division: U.S.S. Yorktown (CV-5)
USS Hart (DD 594) was named for Patrick; the ship was sponsored by his mother.