WW2 Navy Officer's Uniform...with a twist!
Posted 18 December 2007 - 04:21 PM
::foreign militaria warning::
This might be a strange place to see a British uniform, but there’s an interesting story behind it.
In 1941, before the US entered the War, nine Americans ventured over England and enrolled in the Royal Naval College. He became the first of three American graduates of the Royal Naval College and became a commissioned officer in the Royal Navy – the first United States citizens (and probably only) to ever do so. He served on several ships in the North Atlantic, to include service as Executive Officer of the HMS WREN of the Second Escort Group, which had the record for U-boat sinkings. He later took part in the Normandy invasion as part of the strike force and following those, attended the Royal Naval Staff College. Upon completion of that course, he became part of the Staff Allied Naval Command, as liason officer with the US Navy, where he earned a special commendation and promotion to Commander, Royal Navy. He became the only American to wear the “brass hat” (e.g. have the scrambled eggs on his visor) in the Royal Navy. In September 1947, he was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and later wrote a book about his adventures entitled “Yankee RN”.
I need to do some more research to determine what he did later in his life. Quite a fascinating individual!
Posted 18 December 2007 - 04:22 PM
Posted 18 December 2007 - 04:25 PM
Posted 18 December 2007 - 04:26 PM
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Posted 27 November 2015 - 01:16 PM
Incredibile story, always love to see great discoveries like this. Thanks for sharing
Posted 27 November 2015 - 06:28 PM
Posted 28 November 2015 - 02:38 AM
What I think is more interesting is that this individual was a reserve officer according to the braid.
I wonder if he maintained any type of military affiliation after his military service ?
Posted 28 November 2015 - 06:47 AM
The officers in the Royal Navy Vol. Reserve were said to be in the "Wavy Navy", because of the shape of their sleeve braid. Yet another useless factoid you gained from reading this forum! Nice uniform.
Posted 28 November 2015 - 08:48 AM
Thanks for the comments, guys! This uniform ended up going to the Naval War College in Newport, RI, along with the rest of his group that came up for sale back in about 2008 or so. Really a remarkable fellow!
Posted 03 December 2015 - 02:22 PM
A fascinating piece of history. Congratulations Dave for being the temporary curator of this magnificent uniform. Jack
Posted 18 December 2015 - 08:00 AM
There were 23 Americans commissioned into the RNVR prior to the US entry into World War II. As Dave mentions in his early posts, Cherry was the senior-ranking among them (and the only one decorated for his service).
Unlike the Eagle Squadron members, the Americans in the Royal Navy were not transferred as a group back to US control and only a few requested to go individually. Cherry apparently asked about transferring, but was told that, as a skilled anti-submarine warfare officer, the Royal Navy needed him.
About a year ago, I acquired the orginal art for the cover of "Yankee R.N." and some original water-color illustrations used in the book. I read his book while in college, so I was must happy to acquire these items as I already had Cherry's medals and some original documents.
Cherry's is an interesting story of those who joined the British forces prior to 7 December 1941.
Posted 18 December 2015 - 08:15 AM
Thanks to all who brought this thread back alive! Jeff, I'd LOVE to see some of the artwork if you have a chance to post it sometime!
Here are some more documents that were with the group...first up, a photo of him in Bremen, and from earlier in the war, during the transfer of his ship from the US Navy to the RN.
Finally, a photo of his RNVR class.
Posted 18 December 2015 - 08:17 AM
Posted 18 December 2015 - 08:18 AM
Posted 18 December 2015 - 08:20 AM
Also, a commendation for his part in getting the USCGC Eagle to the US...pretty awesome!
Posted 18 December 2015 - 08:22 AM
This was the rest of the group (I think, sans medals) that was sold at Jim Mountain's auction. It went unsold but his stepson bought it after the auction. I just wanted the white topped hat...wow...talk about salty!
Posted 22 April 2019 - 06:33 AM
Late to the posting, but I read this and was just wowed. Great find.
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