WALKER ETHRIDGE, CDR, USN
Walker Ethridge '34
Date of birth: unknown
Date of death: March 20, 1945
From the 1934 Lucky Bag:
Walker was lost when his aircraft was shot down near Okinawa on March 20, 1945 while operating from USS Bataan (CVL 29). He was Commanding Officer of Fighting Squadron (VF) 47 at the time.
His wife 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 Commander Walker Ethridge (NSN: 0-73557), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Fighter Plane and Commanding Officer of Fighting Squadron FORTY-SEVEN (VF-47), attached to the U.S.S. BATAAN (CVL-29), in action against the enemy Japanese forces off Kyushu, Japan, on 20 March 1945. Launched from his carrier to lead a flight on combat air patrol when he observed a hostile plane diving over the ships of his Task Force, Commander Ethridge unhesitatingly pursued the threatening enemy to blast him from the sky and prevent a damaging blow to our surface vessels, pressing home his attack against the Japanese aircraft in the face of intense, deadly fire and resolutely continuing his valiant efforts until his own plane burst into flames and glided into the sea. His great personal valor, indomitable fighting spirit, courageous determination and heroic defense of his Task Force were inspiring to those with whom he served and reflected the highest credit upon Commander Ethridge and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
General Orders: Board Awards Serial 0247 (October 31, 1945) Action Date: 20-Mar-45
Company: Fighting Squadron 47 (VF-47)
Division: U.S.S. Bataan (CVL-29)