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Adapted from "Captain Porter Fryman Bedell, United States Navy" [biography, dated 13 June 1962] in Modern Biographical Files collection, Navy Department Library.
 

Adapted from "Captain Porter Fryman Bedell, United States Navy"
[biography, dated 13 June 1962] in Modern Biographical Files collection, Navy Department Library.
Topic
  • Aviation
  • Navigation
Document Type
  • Biography
Wars & Conflicts
  • World War II 1939-1945
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  • Image (gif, jpg, tiff)
Location of Archival Materials
  • NHHC-Library

Porter Fryman Bedell

1 August 1911 – [no death date]


PDF Version [4.2MB]

A native of Los Angeles, California, Porter Fryman Bedell graduated from the Naval Academy with the Class of 1933. He was commissioned in the US Naval Reserve, due to previous legislation, however a year later he received his appointment as Ensign in the US Navy. He then joined the battleship Pennsylvania and between 1938 and 1941 continued duty afloat in the destroyer Wasmuth and the cruiser Portland

He was designated Naval Aviator in the summer of 1941 and was serving with Patrol Squadron 21, based on Pearl Harbor, when the Japanese attacked the Naval Base there on December 7, 1941. He transferred in April 1942 to Patrol Squadron 101 to serve as Executive Officer and Commanding Officer until December 1943. After a period of training, he reported in April 1944 as an Instructor in the Department of Navigation at the Naval Academy and while there also served as basketball coach. He was Aviation Member with the US Naval Mission to Chile for two years, followed by duty afloat in the aircraft carrier Antietam

During the period 1949-1951 he served as Executive Officer of the Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, Florida. Completing the course in strategy and tactics at the Naval War College, he assumed command of Air Transport Squadron 3 in July 1952. He next had duty, 1954-1956, as Chief of the Training Division and Director of Personnel and Security at the Field Command, Armed Forces Special Weapons Project, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

He was Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations to the Commander in Chief, Allied Forces, Mediterranean from October 1956 until May 1958, when he was ordered to duty as Commanding Officer of  USS Yorktown. After a year at sea he reported to the Navy Department, Washington, DC, for duty in the Bureau of Naval Weapons. Under orders of March 8, 1961, he is now Commanding Officer of the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida.

Personal Data: 

Born: 1 August 1911, Los Angeles, California

Parents: John Young and Mabel (Alford) Bodell

Education: The Citadel, Charleston, SC, University of South California at Los Angeles; US Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md. (BS, 1933); Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Fla. (flight training, designated Naval Aviator, 12 August 1941); Naval War College, Newport, RI (1951-1952) 

Promotions: 

Appointed Midshipman, 20 June 1929

Commissioned Ensign, USNR, 1 June 1933

Commissioned Ensign, USN, 28 June 1934

Lieutenant (junior grade), USN, 29 May 1937

Lieutenant, USN, 1 April 1941

Lieutenant Commander, USN, 1 October 1942

Commander, USN, 1 January 1944

Captain, USN, 1 July 1952 

Medals and Decorations:

Army Distinguished Flying Cross

Air Medal

Gold Star in lieu of the Second Air Medal

American Defense Service Medal

American Campaign Medal

Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with four engagement stars

World War II Victory Medal

China Service Medal

Navy Occupation Service Medal

National Defense Service Medal 

Foreign:

Orden Al Merito (Chile)

Condor De Los Andes (Bolivia) 

Citations:

Army Distinguished Flying Cross: “For heroism in flight and exceptional and outstanding accomplishment in the face of great danger above and beyond the line of duty. These operations consisted of over two hundred hours of operational flight missions, during which enemy fire was probable and expected.” 

Air Medal: “For meritorious achievement…in aerial flight against enemy Japanese forces in the Pacific War Area from August 7 to September 10, 1943. Taking part in numerous night patrols and vigorous bombing raids on Japanese shipping and shore installations, (he) handled his plane expertly in site of antiaircraft fire and inflicted damage on an enemy submarine and a cargo ship, several barged and ammunition dumps ashore…” 

Gold Star in lieu of Second Air Medal: “For meritorious achievement…as a First Pilot with Patrol Squadron 21 and as Patrol Plane Commander and First Pilot of a Bomber Plane in Patrol Squadron 101 in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Southwest Pacific War Area from December 7, 1941 to July 4, 1943. Completing his fifth mission during this period, (he) contributed materially to the success of his squadron and to the infliction of damage on the enemy…” 

Chronological Transcript of Naval Service: 

May 1933 - Jun 1934 Inactive Reserve Officer

Jul 1934 – Apr 1935 USS Pennsylvania

Apr 1935 – May 1938 USS Wasmuth

Jun 1938 – Jan 1941 USS Portland

Feb 1941 – Aug 1941 Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Fla. (flight training)

Sep 1941 – Apr 1942 Patrol Squadron 21 (Operations Officer)

Apr 1942 – Dec 1943 Patrol Squadron 101 (Executive Officer and CO)

Dec 1943 – Apr 1944 PBY-4 training

Apr 1944 – Apr 1945 US Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md. (Instructor, Dept. of Navigation)

Apr 1945 – May 1947 US Naval Mission to Chile (Aviation Member)

May 1947 – May 1949 USS Antietam (Navigator, Air & Operations Officer)

May 1949 – Aug 1951 Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, (XO)

Aug 1951 – Jun 1952 Naval War College, Newport, RI (student)

Jul 1952 – Jul 1954 Air Transport Squadron 3 (CO)

Aug 1954 – Sep 1956 Field Command, Armed Forces Special Weapons Project, Albuquerque, NM (Chief, Training Div, & Director, Personnel & Security)

Oct 1956 – Staff, Commander in Chief Allied Forces, Mediterranean (Ass’t Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations)

28 May 1958 (Orders) USS Yorktown (CO)

27 Feb 1959      “        Bureau of Ordnance, later BuWeps

8 March 1961    “        Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Fla. (C.O.)

END 

Published: Thu Aug 08 10:43:28 EDT 2019