It is said the Navy is never wrong but it can be a little short on being right at times.
Occasionally, one wonders, “What in the hell is the matter with people?” I have to say that the American navy has a rich history of honor, sacrifice, and fortitude, but there are a few blemishes, as well —which is true within all our military branches. Our military is representative of our society —its strengths and weaknesses. There is no justification for dwelling on them, but they do present important lessons and we either learn from them or repeat them to our sorrow.
Two disgraces stand out. The first involves Rear Admiral (then Captain) Leslie Edward Gehres, USN (1898-1975) whose primary contribution to the Navy was his toxic leadership while in command of the USS Franklin (CV-13) (1944-1945). Gehres assumed command of USS Franklin at Ulithi, relieving Captain J. M. Shoemaker. Under Shoemaker, USS Franklin had come under attack by Japanese kamikaze aircraft. At the change of command ceremony, Gehres told…
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