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Adapted from "Lieutenant Commander George S. Von Weller, U. S. Navy, Deceased" [biography, dated 11 February 1954] in Biographies, 20th century collection, Navy Department Library.

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  • Biography
Wars & Conflicts
  • World War II 1939-1945
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George Schoen Von Weller

4 August 1919 - 7 February 1953

George Schoen Von Weller was born in Albany, Georgia, on 4 August 1919, son of Harold J. and Charlotte Rachel (Turner) Von Weller. He attended Albany High School and Clemson College, and on 3 September 1941, enlisted in the US Naval Reserve. He was appointed Aviation Cadet on 15 February 1942, and completing flight training at the Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, Florida, was designated Naval Aviator (heavier-than-air) on 3 July 1942. Commissioned Ensign in the Naval Reserve to rank from 18 July 1942, he subsequently transferred to the US Navy, and advanced to the rank of Lieutenant Commander, his date of rank 15 July 1951.

Reporting in August 1942 to Commander Patrol Plane Replacement Squadrons, Pacific, he was assigned to Patrol Squadron TWELVE and flew with that squadron for a year. Patrol Squadron TWELVE was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation, and Lieutenant Commander (then Lieutenant junior grade) Von Weller was personally awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and a Gold Star in lieu of the second Distinguished Flying Cross; and the Air Medal and Gold Stars in lieu of the second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth Air Medals. The citations to the Presidential Unit Commendation and two Distinguished Flying Crosses follow in part:

Presidential Unit Citation to PATROL SQUADRON TWELVE: “For extraordinary heroism in action against enemy forces during operations in the South Pacific War Area, from November 24, 1942 to June 1, 1943. The first Catalina squadron to operate from Guadalcanal and the originator of the highly effective night tactics peculiar to “Black Cats”, Patrol Squadron TWELVE pioneered this type of aerial warfare during the critical months when our position in this area was still uncertain…With only nine planes available for operations and with a lack of spare parts and personnel to repair these aircraft, the squadron struck the enemy shore installations at Munda, Villa Plantation, Buka and Kahili, and on Japanese shipping in the Solomon Islands Area…(establishing) a standard for subsequent Catalina squadrons…”

Distinguished Flying Cross: “For heroism and extraordinary achievement in aerial flight as Pilot of a Patrol Bomber Plane in Patron Bombing Squadron TWELVE, in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Pacific War Area from January 31 to March 5, 1943. Completing his twentieth mission during this period, Lieutenant (then Ensign) Von Weller contributed materially to the success of his squadron and to the infliction of damage on the enemy…”

Gold Star in lieu of the Second DFC: “For heroism and extraordinary achievement…in the Pacific War Area from May 8 to July 27, 1944. Completing his fortieth mission during this period, Lieutenant (then Lieutenant junior grade) Von Weller contributed materially to the success of his squadron and to the infliction of damage on the enemy. His courage and devotion to duty in the face of antiaircraft fire were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”

The Air Medal and Gold Stars in lieu of five additional similar awards were received for “meritorious achievement in aerial fight while serving in a Patrol Plane in Patrol Squadron TWELVE during operations against enemy Japanese forces in the Pacific War Area,” completing five missions each during the following periods, respectively:

Air Medal:  8 October to 31 December 1942
Second Award:  January 4 to 16 1943
Third Award: January 19 to 29, 1943
Fourth Award:  March 10 to April 24, 1943
Fifth Award:  April 25, 1943 to April 26, 1944
Sixth Award:  April 28 to May 4, 1944

Detached from Patrol Wing TWELVE he joined Bombing Squadron ONE HUNDRED FORTY EIGHT on 16 August 1944. He soon returned to the United States, reporting first to the Naval Air Station, Alameda, California, and later, on 14 January 1945, to the Naval Air Station, Lake City, Florida. During the period March 1946 to June 1947, he had successive tours of duty at the Naval Air Station, Hutchinson, Kansas; Naval Air Auxiliary Station, Whiting Field, Pensacola, Florida; and the Naval Air Technical Training Center, also at Pensacola. Ordered to the Naval Air Transport Command, he was assigned in July 1947 to Naval Air Transport Squadron EIGHT based at the Naval Air Facility, Honolulu, TH.

On 20 December 1948 he was ordered detached from Squadron EIGHT and to report to Commander, Pacific Division, Military Air Transport Service, for duty as Aide and Flag Lieutenant. He served in that capacity until January 1950 when he was sent to the US Naval School (General Line) at Monterey, California, for instruction which he completed in December of that year. On 24 January 1951 he reported to the Naval Air Station, Corpus Christi, Texas, where he had duty in the Operations Department until 30 April 1952.

Ordered next to the Air Force, Atlantic Fleet, he reported to Headquarters, Naval Air Station, Norfolk, Virginia, on 18 May 1952, and was assigned duty with Photographic Squadron SIXTY TWO based at Jacksonville to Sanford, Florida, in October of that year, and he remained on duty with Photographic Squadron SIXTY TWO until his death, near Albany, Georgia, on 7 February 1953.

In addition to the Distinguished Flying Cross with Gold Star, the Air Medal with five Gold Stars, and the Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon, Lieutenant Commander Von Weller had the American Defense Service Medal; the American Campaign Medal; the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; the World War II Victory Medal; and the National Defense Service Medal.

Published: Wed Feb 27 15:48:48 EST 2019