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eMedals-Group to Navy Cross Recipient Commander Kent Manning Cushing

Item: W3225

Group to Navy Cross Recipient Commander Kent Manning Cushing

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Group to Navy Cross Recipient Commander Kent Manning Cushing

Group to Navy Cross Recipient Commander Kent Manning Cushing; Officer's Cap Badge (two-piece construction, sterling silver eagle on a silver gilt crossed anchors base, maker marked "PASQUALE" and marked "STERLING" on the reverse, 58.5 mm x 62 mm, screwback); Naval Aviator Badge (sterling silver, maker marked with the Hilborn-Hamburger HH eagle insignia, marked "STER + 1/20 10K" (Sterling + 1/20 10K Gold) on the reverse, 23 mm x 70.2 mm, horizontal pinback); Navy Overseas Wing (two-piece construction, sterling silver, maker marked "BALFOUR" and marked "STERLING" on the reverse, 12.2 mm x 37.7, horizontal pinback, in its box of issue, label marked "234B NAVY OVER-SEAS WING  1 1/2" on the side); Pair of U.S. Collar Insignia (silver gilt, maker marked "AMICO" on their reverses, 12 mm x 22 mm, dual screwbacks); Pair of Navy Commander Rank Shoulder Boards (black wool uppers on a reinforced arched frame, three 14 mm wide rows of finely detailed gold-coloured bullion piping, gold-coloured bullion star with five strands of twisted gold-coloured bullion wire meeting at the center and finished with a sequin, gilt button at the shoulder end with the Navy's eagle standing upon an anchor and surrounded by thirteen stars with rope border insignia, snap closures on the reverse of the buttons are maker marked "UNITED CARR", black nylon backer with black leather straps, maker marked "GEMSCO" on the backers, one with a sticker marked with the Gemsco logo and inscribed "BACKGROUND ALL WOOL EXCLUSIVE OF ORNAMENTATION", boards measuring 58 mm x 138.5 mm each); two three-ribbon Ribbon Bars (Navy and Marine Corps Presidential Unit Citation with one bronze star, American Defense Service Medal with bronze "A" device, and American Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one silver and two bronze stars, and World War II Victory Medal); Four Level Embroidered Ribbon Bar (level one: Navy Cross and Distinguished Flying Cross; level two: Air Medal with bronze star, Navy and Marine Corps Presidential Unit Citation with one bronze star, and American Defense Service Medal with bronze "A" device; level three: American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one silver and two bronze stars; level four: World War II Victory Medal, Navy Occupation Service Medal, and National Defense Service Medal); along with assorted research papers.   Footnote: Kent Manning Cushman was born on November 12, 1918 in Cheney, Washington, the second son of Earnest and Maudean Robinson Cushman. He was a direct descendant of a founder of the Plymouth Colony, Robert Cushman. As a child, he lived in Hover, Washington, the town ceasing to exist in 1957 when the McNary Dam was built and covered much of the town site in the rising waters of Lake Wallula. He grew up in his beloved adopted home of Eatonville, where his father ran the general store. The young Kent was an avid and skilled hunter, putting meat on the table during the Depression. He worked at the local sawmill and attended classes at Washington State University in Pullman. While at university, he met and later married Lois Button of Tacoma, a union that lasted sixty-one years, until her death in 2002. The couple were later to have two sons, Thomas Cushman and Curtis Cushman. Kent Manning Cushing enlisted with the United States Navy on July 17, 1940, at the age of 21, graduating as a Naval Aviator in April 1941. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, he was sent as a TBD Torpedo Bomber (Douglas Devastator Torpedo Bomber) pilot to the Orkney Islands off Scotland, where he scouted for German vessels. Later, in the Pacific Theater, he served with VT-5 aboard the Essex-class aircraft carrier U.S.S. Yorktown, then served with VT-7 aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Wasp, the sole ship of a class built to use up the remaining tonnage allowed to the U.S. for aircraft carriers under the treaties of the time. As a reduced-size version of the Yorktown-class aircraft carrier hull, Wasp was more vulnerable than other United States aircraft carriers available at the opening of hostilities. The U.S.S. Wasp was later sunk on September 15, 1942 off Guadalcanal, with Cushing surviving the sinking and was uninjured. Lieutenant Commander Cushman retrained in TBF Avenger (Grumman Avenger Torpedo Bomber) and served with Torpedo Squadron 16 (VT-16) aboard U.S.S. Lexington (CV-16), participating in strikes against Japanese-held islands and ships. Lieutenant Commander Kent Manning Cushman, United States Navy was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight while serving as a Pilot in Torpedo Squadron 16 (VT-16), embarking the Essex-class aircraft carrier U.S.S. Lexington (CV-16), over Palau Island on March 30th and 31st, 1944, the award authorized by the Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 361 in March 1947. Lieutenant Commander Kent Manning Cushman was awarded the Navy Cross, credited with two direct hits on the deck of a Japanese aircraft carrier during the Battle of the Philippines, on June 20, 1944, his citation stating: "The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lieutenant Commander [then Lieutenant] Kent Manning Cushman, United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Torpedo Plane of Torpedo Squadron SIXTEEN (VT-16), attached to the U.S.S. LEXINGTON (CV-16), in action against major units of the Japanese fleet west of the Marianas Islands during the first Battle of the Philippine Sea, on 20 June 1944. Leading his section in a long-range attack on major units of the Japanese Fleet, Lieutenant Commander Cushman maneuvered his plane to evade determined fighter resistance and intense anti-aircraft fire in the ensuing action and, striking at a large enemy aircraft carrier, scored two direct bomb hits on the bow of the hostile vessel which eventually sank. Upon completion of the critical mission, Lieutenant Commander Cushman succeeded in returning with his flight to his Task Group under extremely adverse conditions. His cool courage, professional skill and leadership reflect the highest credit upon Lieutenant Commander Cushman and the United States Naval Service." After the war, Cushman remained in the Navy, rising to the rank of Commander, becoming Commanding Officer of VA-1E. During his career, he was credited with 4,000 hours flight time and 290 career landings. He was discharged from active service on January 31, 1964 and following his retirement, he and his wife moved to family property on Johnson Point, north of Lacey, Washington (near Olympia). His hobbies included fishing and moose hunting in Saskatchewan. Cushman was a member of the United States Naval Institute (a private, non-profit, professional military association based in Annapolis, Maryland, that seeks to offer independent, nonpartisan forums for debate of national defense and security issues), the Navy League of the United States (a national association whose members advocate for a strong, credible United States Navy, United States Marine Corps, United States Coast Guard and U.S. Merchant Marine) and the Legion of Valor of the United States of America (a federally chartered corporation created to promote patriotic allegiance to the United States, fidelity to the U.S. Constitution, and popular support for civil liberties and the permanence of free institutions. Its membership is open to recipients of the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Navy Cross and the Air Force Cross). He was also a member of the Kiwanis and attended Faith Lutheran Church in Lacey. Cushman died on June 19, 2007, at the age of 88, his funeral taking place at Faith Lutheran Church on June 25th. He is buried in Tahoma National Cemetery, Kent, King County, Washington, Plot: Sec. 24 site 535. (C:14)
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