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WW2 Navy Officer's Uniform...with a twist!


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All:

 

Brace yourselves....

 

::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!

 

Dave

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Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


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His ribbons...just too bad he didn't end up with a Bronze Star (or similar) from the Americans...

Cherry1.jpg

Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


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The tailor's label. Yes, it does have the most horrid vintage of all uniforms...1946... pinch.gif

Cherry2.jpg

Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


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His postwar bio...

Cherry3.jpg

Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


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A vintage copy of his OBE transmittal letter...

Cherry4.jpg

Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


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A page from the binder of documents that came with the uniform...the top photo is of a plaque erected at the Royal Naval College, the bottom photo is their 1941 class photo.

Cherry5.jpg

Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

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  • 7 years later...

Incredibile story, always love to see great discoveries like this. Thanks for sharing

Please Remember the Following Service Members who have passed on!

 

Manley S Webb- 1925-2006 US Navy WW2

James W Boutilier - 1921-1983 US Navy Seabees WW2

Russell W Haight - 1876-1953 Spanish American War, Cuban Pacification, Mexican Border War NYNG

Lt Colonel William H Warren 1921-2014 USAF

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Incredible piece! Is this still in your collection or did the IWM end up working out a deal?

Will Twomey

In Honor of:

USA General John Wickham (1928-)

USAF Colonel Bernie Fisher MOH (1927-2014)

USMC Sergeant Al De Vito (Chosin Reservoir Survivor) (1926-)

USA Cpl. Macedonio Leyba (Bataan Death March survivor) (1917-2007)

 

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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!

Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
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  • 2 weeks later...

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.

Jeff Floyd

The universe is made up of neutrons, protons, electrons and morons

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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.

12-18-2015 8-10-59 AM.jpg

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Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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Next up, his federal service application, listing all of his jobs...

12-18-2015 8-12-30 AM.jpg

Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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Pg 2...

12-18-2015 8-12-18 AM.jpg

Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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Looks like I got the pages out of order...but whatever... :)

12-18-2015 8-11-49 AM.jpg

Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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Next...

12-18-2015 8-12-04 AM.jpg

Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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Finally...

 

Also, a commendation for his part in getting the USCGC Eagle to the US...pretty awesome!

12-18-2015 8-12-42 AM.jpg

12-18-2015 8-13-00 AM.jpg

Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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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!

CherryGroup.jpg

Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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  • 3 years later...

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