Hispanic Americans - 1940s



Hispanic Americans served with distinction in World War II. Many of the graduates of the Naval Academy from the early part of the Twentieth Century were seasoned and in positions of leadership. During this period, as with other ethnic minorities in the country, strides were made for Hispanic Americans to achieve.

Captain Marion Frederic Ramirez de Arellano became the first Hispanic American to command a submarine when he assumed command of USS Balao (SS-285).

Excellence in aviation came from Commander Henry G. Sanchez, USN, who led Fighter Squadron Seventy Two (VF-72) on board USS Hornet (CV-8) and Lieutenant Eugene A. Valencia, USN, who downed 23 Japanese aircraft and became the Navy's third ranking ace of all time.

Private First Class Harold Gonsalves, USMCR, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions with the Fourth Battalion, Fifteenth Marines, Sixth Marine Division against the Japanese at Okinawa, Japan.

Hispanic women also joined the patrotic fight for our country, serving as reserve members of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.

Continue here for Hispanic Americans in the U.S. Navy - 1950s.

Click the photograph to prompt a larger view.

Photo #: NH 106920

Commander Luis de Flores, USNR

De Flores graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1911 before becoming a U.S. Navy Officer during World War I. Focusing on aviation, he became a Naval Aviator and used his inventive ideas to make better flight simulators and equipment for flight safety. He is also credited with numerous inventions. De Flores also received an honorary doctorate degree by Tufts University in after the war. De Flores worked for government agencies and died in November 1962.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 69KB; 720 x 925

 
Photo #: 80-G-398922

Commander Henry G. Sanchez, USN


Commander Sanchez poses in gear in front of an FC-1 "Corsair" at Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, Florida in September 1943. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal for his performance with Fighter Squadron Seventy-Two (VF-72) from USS Hornet (CV-8) in 1942. Sanchez would later be promoted to Rear Admiral.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives.

Online Image: 86KB; 700 x 925

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives

 
Photo #: NH 91861-KN (Color)

Boxing Tournament Poster

Advertising the Fourteenth Naval District Champsonship Bouts, held at the Nimitz Bowl, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 4 July 1944. Note third sailor from left is Bantamweight Champion Val Alverado.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 160KB; 705 x 925

 
Photo #: NH 106922-KN (Color)

Mailman Third Class Lillia (Diaz) Bridges, USNR

Mailman Third Class Bridges served in the WAVES from August 1944 to November 1945.

Courtesy of the Women in the Military Service for America Memorial Foundation Inc.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 75KB; 650 x 925

 
Photo #: NH 106997

Lieutenant Junior Grade Maria Rodriguez Denton, USNR

Lieutenant Junior Grade Denton was the first Puerto Rican WAVES officer. Born in Guanica, Puerto Rico, she served from October 1944 to November 1945.

Courtesy of the Women in the Military Service for America Memorial Foundation Inc

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 49KB; 660 x 925

 
Photo #: NH 106923

Corporal Maria Lourdes (Torres) Maes, USMCR

Corporal Maes served in the U.S. Marine Corps Women's Reserve from October 1944 to February 1946.

Courtesy of the Women in the Military Service for America Memorial Foundation Inc.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 60KB; 580 x 925

 
Photo #: NH 106921

Seaman First Class Idalia Rodriguez, USNR

Seaman First Class Rodriguez served in the WAVES from March to December 1945.

Courtesy of the Women in the Military Service for America Memorial Foundation Inc.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 63KB; 660 x 925

 
Photo #: NH 106146

Private First Class Harold Gonsalves, USMCR


Halftone reproduction of a photograph, copied from the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 193.
Harold Gonsalves was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity" while serving as an Acting Scout Sergeant with the Fourth Battalion, Fifteenth Marines, Sixth Marine Division against the Japanese on Okinawa Shima, Ryukyu Islands, Japan, 15 April 1945.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 80KB; 580 x 765

 
Photo #: 80-G-700016

Fighter Squadron Nine (VF-9) Aces


Pose with a sign signifying their fifty victories over Japanese aircraft. Probably taken on board USS Yorktown (CV-10) at the end of the squadron's combat zone tour, circa Spring 1945.
Aviators shown are (left to right):
Lieutenant Harris E. Mitchell, USN,
(10 Victories)
Lieutenant Junior Grade Clinton L. Smith, USN,
(6 Victories)
Lieutenant James B. French, USN,
(11 Victories)
Lieutenant Eugene A. Valencia, USN,
(23 Victories)
Note VF-9 Insignia on their flight jackets.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives.

Online Image: 77KB; 900 x 705

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives

 
Photo #: NH 106948

Rear Admiral George L. Russell, USN,

(Judge Advocate General of the Navy)

Swears in the first six women in the Regular Navy while the Secretary of the Navy John L. Sullivan, far left, looks on. Captain Joy B. Hancock, Director of the Womans Reserve, is to RADM Russell's right, 7 July 1948.
The first six enlisted women are:
Front row: (left to right)
Chief Yeoman Wilma J. Marchal, USN;
Yeoman Second Class Edna E. Young, USN;
Hospital Corpsman First Class Ruth Flora, USN
Second row: (left to right)
Aviation Storekeeper First Class Kay L. Langen, USN;
(hidden behind the front row):
Storekeeper Second Class Frances T. Devaney, USN;
and
Teleman Doris R. Robertson, USN

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 94KB; 900 x 695

 



For higher resolution images see: Obtaining Photographic Reproductions

To the best of our knowledge, the pictures referenced here are all in the Public Domain, and can therefore be freely downloaded and used for any purpose.





About Us | Privacy Policy | Webmaster | FOIA request | Navy.mil | This is a US Navy website