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David, Albert L.

David, Albert L.

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Lieutenant, USN, (1902-1945)

Albert Leroy David was born on 18 July 1902 in Maryville, Missouri. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy from that same state in September 1919. He completed Basic Training at Naval Training Station, San Francisco, California and received orders to USS Arkansas. In June 1921, David reenlisted and was assigned to USS Rochester, transferring in succession to USS Preston, USS Delaware, USS Utah, and USS Texas. After reenlisting in May 1925, he remained on sea duty and subsquently served on board USS Trenton, USS Cincinnati, and USS Salt Lake City.

In May 1931, David reenlisted and received orders to USS Dobbin, remaining on board until August 1939, when he was placed in the Fleet Reserve. That September, due to the start of the Second World War in Europe, he was recalled to active duty. In May 1942, David was temporarily promoted to the warrant officer rank of Machinist and was ordered to the Submarine Repair Unit at San Diego, California. In June, he was temporarily promoted to an Ensign. After diesel engineers' training at the Naval Training School's Madison campus of the University of Wisconsin, David received orders to Naval Training Station, Naval Operating Base, Norfolk, Virginia. Returning to sea duty, Ensign David reported to Orange, Texas to help fit-out and serve on board USS Pillsbury. In May 1943, David was temporarily promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade.

On 4 June 1944, while USS Pillsbury was part of USS Guadalacanal's task force escorting convoys off Cape Blanco, French West Africa, the German Submarine U-505 was located by the task force and forced it to surface. David led a team of nine men from Pillsbury on board and took possession of the submarine. Though it was flooding and could explode at any moment, he directed the initial salvage operations and later ensured the submarine was seaworthy for transport to the United States. This capture of an enemy vessel was the first since 1815. In July 1944, he was temporarily promoted to Lieutenant. Before David could be presented the Medal of Honor, he died on 17 September 1945 in Norfolk, Virginia. For his "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity " on this occasion, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Albert L. David is buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, California.

USS Albert David (DE-1050), 1968-2001, was named after Lieutenant Albert L. David.

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