Monday, November 17, 2008

Rear Admiral Roger W. Paine, Jr. (1917 - 2008)

Rear Admiral Roger Warde Paine, Jr. USN (ret.) passed away yesterday in Annapolis, Maryland at the age of 91. Funeral services are pending. He was the last surviving officer to serve in USS Wahoo (SS-238).

Admiral Paine was born in Austin, Texas on August 13, 1917, son of Rear Admiral Roger W. Paine, USN and Mrs. Corine (Malone) Paine. He attended Western High School, Washington, D.C. and Coronado (California) High School prior to entering the U.S. Naval Academy on appointment from the District of Columbia in 1935. He was graduated and commissioned Ensign on June 1, 1939.

Following graduation he joined the USS ARIZONA and in December 1940 was detached from that battleship for submarine training at the Submarine Base, New London, Connecticut. In April 1941 he reported on board the USS POMPANO and was serving in that submarine when the United States entered World War II on December 8, 1941. For meritorious conduct as Communication, Radar and Sound Officer of the USS POMPANO during her First War Patrol he was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat "V".

From March 1942 to August 1943 he continued duty afloat in the USS WAHOO rising to Executive Officer and Navigator. Prior to embarking on WAHOO's Fifth War Patrol, Lieutenant Paine underwent emergency surgery for appendicitis. He was subsequently given command of the USS S-34. In August 1944 he became Executive Officer and Navigator of the USS TINOSA. Participating in eight successful war patrols in the Pacific during World War II, he was awarded the Silver Star Medal, the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V", and a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Bronze Star medal, also with Combat "V". He is also entitled to the Ribbon for, and a facsimile of, the Presidential Unit Citation awarded the USS WAHOO.

In May 1945 he reported for fitting out duty in the USS CUBERA at the Electric Boat Company, Groton, Connecticut and assumed command of that submarine upon her commissioning, December 12, 1945. Detached from the CUBERA in April 1945, he briefly commanded the USS WHALE which was decommissioned at New London, Connecticut on June 1, 1946.

He next reported for instruction in Ordinance Engineering (Special Physics Course) at the Postgraduate School, Annapolis, Maryland. From June 1947 to February 1949 he continued the course at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at Cambridge from which he received the degree of Master of Science in Nuclear Physics. He next was engaged in field work at various ordinance facilities and during the period of August 1949 to August 1951 he worked at the Los Alamos (New Mexico) Scientific Laboratory doing design and development work on the nuclear components of atomic bombs and of the H-bomb, which was in the design stage at that time.

From August 1951 to September 1953 he commanded the USS COWELL which, under his command, made an around-the-world cruise and spent five months in the Korean War theater. In September 1953 he reported as Chief of the Analysis Branch, Armed Forces Special Weapons Project, Washington, D.C. In that capacity he participated in all nuclear weapon tests during 1954 - 1956, both in Nevada and at Eniwetok and Bikini, and supervised analysis and correlation of the data obtained.

Ordered to the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island he had instruction there in Naval Warfare from August 1956 until June 1957 and became Commander, Destroyer Division TWO HUNDRED EIGHTY-TWO in July of that year. This Division, consisting of the USS EATON, BACHE, BEALE and MURRAY, participated in NATO maneuvers in Europe in the fall of 1957 and later formed a part of Anti-Submarine Group ALFA, a special group formed to develop and perfect operational techniques of anti-submarine warfare.

Assigned in November 1958 to the Bureau of Ordinance, Navy Department, Washington, D.C., he headed the Guided Missile Branch, Research Division until 1959, when that Bureau and the Bureau of Aeronautics were combined and designated the Bureau of Naval Weapons. He then became Director of the Missile Guidance and Airframe Division and as such was responsible for research, development, test and evaluation of the Navy's BULLPUP, CORVUS, EAGLE, SIDEWINDER, SPARROW, TALOS, TARTAR, TERRIER and TYPHON missiles.

In September 1961 he assumed command of the USS TOPEKA in the Pacific area and commanded her during anti-air warfare operations off the California coast and in Hawaiian and Far Eastern waters. Returning to Washington, D.C. in November 1962, he served as Head of the Surface Warfare Branch, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department, until June, 1963. He then reported as Military Assistant to the Deputy Director of Defense Research and Engineering (Administration and Management), Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C. He was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal for his work in this position.

In the fall of 1966 he was promoted to Rear Admiral and in December became Commander, Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla TEN, a unit of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet consisting of twenty-one cruisers and destroyers. In the Spring of 1967 he deployed to the Mediterranean as Commander of an Attack Carrier Strike Group, flying his flag alternately in the aircraft carriers USS SHANGRI-LA and SARATOGA and in the guided missile cruiser USS GALVESTON.

He reported in January 1968 as Director of the Navy Information Systems Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations with the responsibility for the procurement, maintenance and operation of all of the Navy's computers. In August 1970 he was ordered detached for duty as Commander, Training Command, U.S. Pacific Fleet with Fleet Training Activities in Japan, Guam, Hawaii, San Diego, Long Beach and San Francisco. He was awarded the Legion of Merit in connection with this duty and retired from naval service in the summer of 1972.

Admiral Paine was married to the former Isla Rea Vaile for over sixty years, had three children, numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.

All of us connected to Legends of the Deep offer our heartfelt condolences for their loss.
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Roger Paine Near Death

Received word from a family member last night that Rear Admiral Roger W. Paine, Jr., USN (ret.) is near death. Admiral Paine is the last living officer to have served aboard Wahoo. Funeral services will be held at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. Admiral Paine turned 91 this past August.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family in this difficult time.
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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Commendation for Charles Hinman

Our good friend Charles Hinman recently received some much deserved kudos for his work at the USS Bowfin Museum. As reported here, Charles worked tirelessly to put together the Wahoo Memorial and Remembrance week in October of 2007. He also served as Project Wahoo's U.S. point of contact for information regarding the discovery of Wahoo. He has also served in much the same capacity for the search efforts of several additional lost WWII boats, notably the USS Grunion. I know from personal experience he is a gracious host and Charles made my visit to Oahu the experience of a lifetime.

In recognition of his hard work, Admiral Joe Walsh, ComSubPac, recently awarded Charles with the following citation (click the image to enlarge it). Bravo Zulu, Charles!

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About Me

The first 'grown up' book Paul Crozier ever read was "War Fish" by George Grider. Since then he has spent most of his life researching the U.S. Submarine Force in WWII and USS Wahoo (SS-238) in particular.


This blog is dedicated to all who have served in the U.S. Submarine Force. Thank you for your service and sacrifice.

Admiral Chester Nimitz

"We shall never forget it was our submarines that held the line against the enemy while our fleets replaced losses and repaired wounds."

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