Cousins, Ralph W.

1974 TLS from the Navy pilot, awarded Navy Cross in WW II for heroism in the Battle of the Coral Sea, led naval air campaign against No. Vietnam 1967-69

Price: $50.00

Description:
(1915-2009) US Navy aviator in WW II, led carrier operations in Vietnam War. USNA 1937, he became a Navy pilot in 1940. During WW II, he served aboard the carrier USS Lexington, sunk during the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942. In that battle, Cousins led dive-bombing attacks against a Japanese aircraft carrier despite heavy antiaircraft fire, and was awarded the Navy Cross, the service's 2nd-highest award for valor. He had a central role in planning the US naval air campaign against North Vietnam. From 1967-69, during some of the fiercest fighting of the war, he led the attack carrier strike force and was responsible for all naval aviation operations carried out from aircraft carriers in the Gulf of Tonkin. He developed tactics for combating antiaircraft missiles fired at Navy airplanes and in 1967 directed the 1st successful attack on a missile installation in North Vietnam. Adm. Cousins had 30 ships under his command at the time, including 5 aircraft carriers, coordinating bombing orders from the Pentagon and the Navy's Pacific headquarters in Hawaii. Adm. Cousins often greeted returning naval aviators who had been shot down and held as POWs in North Vietnam. In 1970, when he was promoted to the rank of Admiral, he became Vice Chief of Naval Operations, the Navy's 2nd-highest office. In 1971, he pinned a rear admiral's star on astronaut and Navy officer Alan Shepard, soon after Shepard's Apollo 14 flight to the moon. For the final years of his naval career, 1972-75, Cousins was simultaneously commander of the US Atlantic fleet (CINCLANT) and Supreme Allied Commander of all NATO forces (SACEUR). Other decorations incl. 3 Distinguished Service Medals, 2 Legions of Merit, and 2 Air Medals. In addition to his aviation work, Cousins helped plan the Navy's nuclear and submarine programs and advised US diplomatic teams. After his Navy retirement, he joined Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock, the largest private shipyard in the world, president 1977-79. He moved to London in 1979 to open the offices of Tenneco Europe, the shipyard's parent corporation, now Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding. TLS “Ralph” as ADM, on 10 x 7 4-star flag letterhead as Commander in Chief Atlantic and Commander in Chief, US Atlantic Fleet, np, September 4 1974, to Major General D. C. Smith Jr. (“Dee”), Army War College Commandant. ADM Cousins would be happy to address the AWC in November, recalls a visit to the Goodpasters the previous May as the first and only time he met General (Creighton) Abrams from whom he heard that Smith was to be Commandant, Abrams went to Walter Reed Hospital shortly thereafter; Army Chief of Staff General Abrams died the date this letter was written. DeWITT C. SMITH,JR. (1920 -1985) US Army officer, former deputy Army Chief of Staff, twice (and longest-serving) Army War College commandant 1974 -77, 1978-80. Joined the Army 1942, commissioned 2nd lieutenant with the 4th Armored Div. in combat after Normandy to the end of the War. Wounded 3 times, he was awarded the Silver Star, 2 Bronze Stars, and 3 Purple Hearts. Discharged 1946, returned to active duty in Korea and stayed in the military. He was an aide to Chief of Staff Maxwell Taylor, a battalion XO and commander in Germany, and served at the Pentagon before going to the Army War College. He led a combat brigade of the 1st Infantry in Vietnam. In 1970, under his leadership, Fort Carson, Colo. was made an initial test site for the modern volunteer Army concept. He retired in 1980.

Condition: Very good, pencil docketing at top right
Type:Letter






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