EDWARD E. DEGARMO, LCDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Edward Degarmo '40

Date of birth: March 18, 1917

Date of death: June 7, 1945

Age: 28

Lucky Bag

From the 1940 Lucky Bag:

Loss

From ALL HANDS of September 1946, an article titled "Navy Airman Honored for Combat Action":

Tribute was paid by the Navy to Lt. Comdr. Edward E. DeGarmo, USN, of Honolulu, posthumously, when he was awarded the Navy Cross, the Silver Star and gold star in lieu of a second award, and the Distinguished Flying Cross and three gold stars, for his part in the successful prosecution of the war in the Pacific. Courageous and aggressive at all times, the gallant airman gave his life in the fight for peace.

As flight leader of a carrier based torpedo bomber on 7 Apr 1945, Lt. Comdr. DeGarmo led a low level attack on major units of the Japanese fleet in the East China Sea and scored hits on two cruisers and a destroyer which exploded. Daring and bold, this action won for him a Navy Cross.

The Silver Star was awarded Lt. Comdr. DeGarmo for leading his squadron in two aerial flights on the same day against enemy installations in the Tokyo area, causing severe damage. He received also the gold star in place of a second silver star when, as a torpedo plane pilot, he materially assisted in sustaining the progress of the ground forces at Okinawa on 3 June 1945, by dropping needed supplies and equipment over advance positions.

For distinguishing himself by heroism and extraordinary achievement while participating in action as CO of a torpedo squadron over Hiroshima Bay on 18 Mar 1945, he was given his first Distinguished Flying Cross and subsequently for other aerial engagements he was recognized by presentation of a second, third, and fourth award. He also is the recipient of an Air Medal and five gold stars and a letter of commendation from the Secretary of the Navy.

The "major fleet units" mentioned above was an attack on Yamato and her escorts.

Edward was lost while flying in support of the Okinawa Gunto operation on June 6, 1945. It's possible he was engaged in an operation to drop supplies to forward positions of Marines at the time of his death.

His wife, Beatrice, was listed as next of kin. (Their engagement was announced in February 1942.)

He is buried in California.

Wartime Service

Several of Ed's specific accomplishments are detailed as commanding officer of VT-82.

Navy Cross

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Commander Edward Emmet DeGarmo (NSN: 0-85002), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Torpedo Plane and Commanding Officer of Torpedo Squadron EIGHTY-TWO (VT-82), attached to the U.S.S. BENNINGTON (CV-20), in action against major units of the enemy Japanese Fleet in the East China Sea, on 7 April 1945. Leading the strike group to the position of the hostile Task Force, Lieutenant Commander DeGarmo ordered the initial torpedo attack against the cruisers and destroyers protecting a Japanese battleship and, flying low through a barrage of intense anti-aircraft fire, aided in scoring direct hits on two cruisers and a destroyer which exploded upon impact. His inspiring leadership and devotion to the fulfillment of a hazardous mission were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Commander 1st Carrier Task Force Pacific: Serial 0592 (July 4, 1945)
Action Date: April 7, 1945
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Company: Torpedo Squadron 82 (VT-82)
Regiment: Air Group 82 (AG-82)
Division: U.S.S. Bennington (CV-20)

Silver Stars

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Lieutenant Commander Edward Emmet DeGarmo (NSN: 0-85002), United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while participating in aerial flights as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Torpedo Plane and Commanding Officer of Torpedo Squadron EIGHTY-TWO (VT-82), attached to the U.S.S. BENNINGTON (CV-20), on 16 February 1945. He skillfully led his squadron in the execution of its assigned missions against enemy installations on Hachijo Jima. In operations at low level, in the face of intense anti-aircraft fire, he led his squadron with exemplary courage and determination, sustaining severe damage to his own aircraft in pressing home the attacks. The same day, on a second flight, he attacked airfield installations and scored direct hits on two hangars. His inspiring leadership, his courage, and devotion to duty throughout these operations were at all times in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Commander, 1st Carrier Task Force Pacific: Serial 0281 (March 30, 1945)
Action Date: February 16, 1945
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Company: Torpedo Squadron 82 (VT-82)
Regiment: Air Group 82 (AG-82)
Division: U.S.S. Bennington (CV-20)

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Silver Star to Lieutenant Commander Edward Emmet DeGarmo (NSN: 0-85002), United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while participating in aerial flights as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Torpedo Plane and Commanding Officer of Torpedo Squadron EIGHTY-TWO (VT-82), attached to the U.S.S. BENNINGTON (CV-20), engaged on special missions in close support of ground operations on Okinawa on 3 June 1945. He materially assisted in sustaining the progress of the ground forces by dropping needed supplies and equipment to forward elements in repeated minimum level glides over advance positions. These missions were accomplished during the advance of our forces against determined enemy resistance and in the face of concentrated anti-aircraft fire. As he completed his final mission of the day his plane was struck by enemy anti-aircraft fire which engulfed the engine in flames. In spite of the flames which quickly enveloped the cockpit and of the progressively severe burns he suffered therefrom, he crash-landed his plane within friendly territory so skillfully as to save his aircrewman from all but minor burns and injuries. His cool courage and determination despite his own severe wounds and his superb airmanship were at all times in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Commander, 2d Carrier Task Force Pacific: Serial 01394 (June 23, 1945)
Action Date: June 3, 1945
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Company: Torpedo Squadron 82 (VT-82)
Regiment: Air Group 82 (AG-82)
Division: U.S.S. Bennington (CV-20)

Distinguished Flying Crosses

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Commander Edward Emmet DeGarmo (NSN: 0-85002), United States Navy, for heroism and extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as Commanding Officer of a carrier-based Torpedo Squadron assigned to attack elements of the Japanese fleet in Hiroshima Bay on 18 March 1945. In the face of intense and accurate anti-aircraft fire from enemy warships and surrounding shore batteries during his approach to the target he led his flight on a skillfully executed glide bombing attack against a large fleet tanker and a screening destroyer, scoring direct hits which stopped both vessels dead in the water and in flames. His courageous leadership and determined prosecution of this attack were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Commander, 1st Carrier Task Force Pacific: Serial 0592 (July 4, 1945)
Action Date: March 18, 1945
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Company: Torpedo Squadron 82 (VT-82)
Regiment: Air Group 82 (AG-82)
Division: U.S.S. Bennington (CV-20)

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Commander Edward Emmet DeGarmo (NSN: 0-85002), United States Navy, for heroism and extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as Commanding Officer of a carrier-based Torpedo Squadron operating in support of landing and ground operations on Okinawa Shima on 6 April 1945. Engaging in his twentieth combat flight since 16 February 1945, against the defenses of the inner Japanese Empire he led his squadron in determined attacks against enemy airfields, artillery emplacements, and defensive positions, affording invaluable aid to the progress of the advancing ground forces. His courageous leadership, determination and skill in the execution of these attacks were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Commander, 1st Carrier Task Force Pacific: Serial 0592 (July 4, 1945)
Action Date: April 6, 1945
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Company: Torpedo Squadron 82 (VT-82)
Regiment: Air Group 82 (AG-82)
Division: U.S.S. Bennington (CV-20)

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting a Second Gold Star in lieu of a Third Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Commander Edward Emmet DeGarmo (NSN: 0-85002), United States Navy, for heroism and extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight Pilot of a carrier-based Torpedo Bomber on 22 May 1945. He made a bombing attack upon an enemy transport and two escorting patrol craft proceeding southward through the East China Sea to reinforce the Nansei Shoto Area. In spite of low cloud ceiling and in the face of accurate anti-aircraft fire he scored a bomb hit which broke the back of the transport and contributed to the expeditious destruction of the entire enemy fore. His courage and skill were at all times in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Commander, 1st Carrier Task Force Pacific: Serial 0594 (July 2, 1945)
Action Date: May 22, 1945
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Company: Torpedo Squadron 82 (VT-82)
Regiment: Air Group 82 (AG-82)
Division: U.S.S. Bennington (CV-20)

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting a Third Gold Star in lieu of a Fourth Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Commander Edward Emmet DeGarmo (NSN: 0-85002), United States Navy, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight in operations against the enemy in the vicinity of Tokyo, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, the Nansei Shoto and the Japanese home islands of Honshu and Kyushu. As pilot of a carrier-based torpedo-bomber during the period from 16 February to 3 June 1945, he participated in forty strikes, inflicting extensive damage upon enemy shipping, airfields, and military installations. His determination, courage, and professional skill were at all times in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Commander, 2d Carrier Task Force Pacific: Serial 01394 (June 23, 1945)
Action Date: February 16 - June 3, 1945
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Company: Torpedo Squadron 82 (VT-82)
Regiment: Air Group 82 (AG-82)
Division: U.S.S. Bennington (CV-20)

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.

June 1940

Ensign, USS Enterprise


Others at this command:


Others at or embarked at this command:

LT Ralph Smith '26 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 6)
LT Eugene Lindsey '27 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 6)
LT Edward Allen '31 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 6)
LTjg John Phillips, Jr. '33 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 6)
LTjg Walker Ethridge '34 (Bombing Squadron (VB) 6)
LTjg Frank Whitaker '34 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 6)
LTjg Philip Torrey, Jr. '34 (Bombing Squadron (VB) 6)
LTjg Arthur Ely '35 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 6)
LTjg Hubert Harden '35 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 6)

November 1940

Ensign, USS Enterprise


Others at this command:


Others at or embarked at this command:

LT Ralph Smith '26 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 6)
LT Eugene Lindsey '27 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 6)
LT Edward Allen '31 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 6)
LTjg Arthur Ely '35 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 6)
LTjg Paul Riley '37 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 6)

April 1941

Ensign, USS Enterprise


Others at this command:


Others at or embarked at this command:

LT Ralph Smith '26 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 6)
LT Eugene Lindsey '27 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 6)
LT Edward Allen '31 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 6)
LTjg Arthur Ely '35 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 6)
LTjg Paul Riley '37 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 6)
ENS John Eversole '38 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 6)
ENS John Kelley '38 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 6)
ENS Frank Quady '38 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 6)


Class of 1940

Edward is one of 91 members of the Class of 1940 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.