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Fair

 

Victor Norman Fair, Jr., born 15 August 1921 in Lincoln County, N.C., enlisted in the Naval Reserve 15 August 1940, and was commissioned ensign 14 March 1941. Serving in Gregory (APD-3), Lieutenant (junior grade) Fair was wounded when his ship was sunk by Japanese gunfire in the Solomons on 5 September 1942, and died 4 days later.

 

(DE-35: dp. 1,140; l. 289'5"; b. 35'1"; dr. 8'3"; s. 21 k.; cpl. 156; a. 3 3"; cl. Evarts)

 

Fair (DE-35) was launched 27 July 1943 by Mare Island Navy Yard; sponsored by Mrs. V. N. Fair, Jr., widow of Lieutenant (junior grade) Fair; and commissioned 23 October 1943, Lieutenant D. S. Crocker, USNR, in command.

 

Fair escorted a convoy from San Francisco to Pearl Harbor, where she arrived 9 January 1944. She put to sea 9 days later to conduct an antisubmarine patrol off Tarawa, and late on 4 February, joined Charrette (DD-581) to develop a contact previously made by the destroyer. Attacks by both ships led to the sinking in the early morning of 5 February of I-21. Fair returned to Pearl Harbor 17 February, and sailed 25 February for Majuro, where from 5 March to 12 June, she patrolled the entrance to the lagoon, and escorted ships to and from ocean rendezvous and to Roi and Namur. On 14 June she arrived at Eniwetok with three oilers, and for the next 2 weeks, screened them in the fueling area off the Marianas as they fueled ships serving in the assault and capture of Saipan.

 

The escort vessel served on patrol out of Eniwetok between 1 and 14 July 1944, then returned to screen the logistics group during the assaults on Tinian and Guam. She returned to Pearl Harbor 31 August for a brief overhaul and to take part in training operations. On 13 October Fair was back at Eniwetok for duty escorting convoys to Ulithi until 19 January 1945. She continued her escort duty from Eniwetok to Manus, Guam, and Guadalcanal, until 24 March, when she arrived at Ulithi to stage for the assault on Okinawa.

 

Guarding a convoy composed primarily of LSTs, Fair put out from Ulithi 27 March 1945, and after the initial assault 1 April, put into Kerama Retto. On 6 April, before getting underway for Saipan with unladen transports, she fired on the massive wave of kamikaze planes which attacked shipping off the island, splashing one. After her voyage to Saipan, Fair patrolled off Chimu Wan, Okinawa, until 12 May, then screened the transport area, firing on attacking aircraft and suicide boats for 10 days. Her next assignment was a convoy escort voyage to Saipan and Guam, returning to Okinawa 10 June for local escort duty and patrol.

 

Fair cleared Okinawa 5 July 1945 for a west coast overhaul. She was decommissioned at Portland, Oreg., 17 November 1945, and transferred to the Army 20 May 1947.

 

Fair received five battle stars for World War II service.