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John Henry Towers

  • Graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1906.
  • Was in charge of the aviation unit in 1913 which began its first operations with the Fleet off Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where they explored the potential of the planes in aerial reconnaissance, bombing, aerial photography, and wireless communications.
  • Took part in activating the first Naval Air Station at Pensacola in 1914 and led the air unit’s first action in the Mexican crisis.
  • Led the Navy’s attempt in 1919 to fly across the Atlantic in the NC-3 flying boat. For this, he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.
  • Commanded the USS Langley, the Navy’s first aircraft carrier.
  • Became the first pioneer naval aviator to achieve flag rank in 1939 and was responsible for expanding naval aviation.
  • Commanded the second carrier task force, Task Force 38 the 5th Fleet.
  • Served as Commander in Chief of the Pacific fleet following World War II.
  • Awarded the Navy Cross, Navy Distinguished Service Medal, and Legion of Merit.

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