Teddy Roosevelt Fielding was born in Newport News, Virginia, on June 13, 1920, son of Colonel Earl Fielding, USA, and Mrs. (Celia Gray Freeman) Fielding. He attended the University of Omaha, the University of Hawaii, and the Montana School of Mines, and while a college student participated in boxing and wrestling, was a Company Commander, ROTC, and a member of the Rifle Team. Entering the Naval Service on August 13, 1941, he was commissioned Ensign in the US Naval Reserve on June 27, 1944, and subsequently transferred to the US Navy and advanced to the rank of Lieutenant Commander to date from November 1, 1955.
He was assigned to the District Intelligence Office, Fourteenth Naval District, in a enlisted capacity, at the outbreak of World war II, being at Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii when the Japanese attacked the United States Fleet on December 7, 1941. Following indoctrination instruction at the Naval Training Station, Camp McDonough, Plattsburg, New York and acceptance of a commission as Ensign in the US Naval Reserve in June 1944, he remained there as an Instructor until September 5, that year. He was then transferred to the Naval Training Station, Naval Operating base, Norfolk, Virginia, for instruction and subsequent duty in destroyers.
On June 2, 1945, he joined USS Clarence K. Bronson (DD-668), at San Francisco, California, and served on board that destroyer the remaining months of the war and participated in action at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. He was detached on September 2, 1946, and a few days later reported for duty in USS Hamner (DD-718), in which he served until August 1, 1949. During the next two and one-half years he was assigned to Underwater Demolition Team Unit One, first at the US Naval Amphibious Base at Coronado, California, later operating in the Korean combat area.
He is entitled to the Ribbon for, and facsimiles of the Presidential Unit Citation, the Navy Unit Commendation and the Korean Presidential Unit Citation, and was personally awarded the Silver Star Medal, the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V” and the Navy Cross. The citations to his personal awarded follow, in part:
Silver Star Medal: “For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while attached to Underwater Demolition Teams One and serving with Special Operations Group, Amphibious Group One, Pacific Fleet, during a night reconnaissance mission behind enemy lines on the west coast of Korea on 25 August 1950. When a Marine Detachment of nine men was out off cut from the special operations group by concentrated enemy gunfire, Lieutenant (jg) Fielding, as Officer in Charge of a volunteer boat crew skillfully maneuvered his rubber boat to within 150 yards of the hostile machine gun and rifle fire throughout the area… (and) remained in the area until all the Marines had been located and brought to safety…”
Bronze Star Medal: “For heroic achievement while serving as a Volunteer Boat Group Commander and Control Officer, attached to the Advance Attack Group during the amphibious assault against Inchon, Korea, on 15 September 1950. Assuming the responsibility of dispatching boat waves to the beach, Lieutenant (jg) Fielding expertly controlled the boats in his groups and effected their successful landing, despite extremely difficult hydrographic conditions and heavy enemy fire. In addition he supervised the landing of explosives for use in demolitions, assisted in the evacuation of wounded Marines, and conducted a personal beach reconnaissance to determine the depth of war and beach gradients, of value in beaching LST’s and in unloading vitally needed arms, gasoline and equipment…”
Navy Cross: “For extraordinary heroism while serving as a Reconnaissance Swimmer during an amphibious raid against enemy aggressor forces on the northeast coast of Korea on the night of 3 December 1951. When his assault landing craft grounded close to an enemy-held beach and a demolition charge with its fuse activated was accidentally jettisoned alongside the boat with remainder of the explosives during the effort to lighten the load and float the craft free, Lieutenant Fielding immediately plunged into the water in a brave attempt to pull out the fuse. Undeterred by the imminent danger of an explosion and the grave hazard imposed by the boat’s rotating screws, he successfully located the demolition charge beneath the water, promptly disarmed the fuse and surface in time to the hauled aboard the landing craft as it moved away from the danger area… (and) was directly responsible in averting a serious explosion and probable loss of life…”
Detached from Underwater Demolition Team One on February 1, 1952, he reported on March 12, that year, as a student at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California. There he completed the General Line course, and from December 1952 until September 1954 was a member of the staff. On November 5, 1954, he reported as Assistant Gunnery Officer on board USS Albany (CA-123).
In February 1956 he assumed command of Underwater Demolition Team Eleven at San Diego, California and in July of that year transferred to command of Underwater Demolition Team Twelve, also located at San Diego. He had temporary duty in the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Navy Department, Washington, DC, between June and September 1958, after which he was a student at the Naval Intelligence School, Washington, DC. In March 1959 he was ordered to duty on the staff of the Commander in Chief, US Pacific Fleet.
In addition to the Navy Cross, the Silver Star Medal, the Bronze Star Medal, and Ribbons for the Presidential Unit Citation and the Navy Unit Commendation, Lieutenant Commander Fielding has the American Defense Service Medal with star; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with three stars; the American Campaign Medal; the World War II Victory Medal; China Service Medal; the Navy Occupation Service Medal, Asia Clasp; the National Defense Service Medal; the Korea Service Medal with seven stars and Marine Corps Combat Distinguishing Device; United Nations Service Medal; and the Korean Presidential Unit Citation. He also holds the Expert Pistol Shot Medal.