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Richard Alonzo Jaccard

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Richard Alonzo Jaccard
Nickname(s)Dick, Jake
Born(1918-07-01)July 1, 1918
Troy, Missouri
DiedSeptember 15, 1942(1942-09-15) (aged 24)
aboard USS Wasp (CV-7)
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Naval Reserve
Years of service1940–1942
UnitCarrier Air Wing Six and Wasp Air Group
Battles/warsWorld War II
*Battle of Midway
*Guadalcanal/Tulagi landings
*Battle of the Eastern Solomons
AwardsNavy Cross
Purple Heart

Richard Alonzo Jaccard (July 1, 1918 – September 15, 1942) was born in Troy, Missouri and lived in Manhattan, Kansas.

Navy career[edit]

Jaccard enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve October 29, 1940. He later underwent flight training and upon graduation was commissioned Ensign September 27, 1941. Reporting to famed carrier USS Enterprise in April 1942, Ensign Jaccard took part, June 4, 1942, in one of the most important battles in all naval history, the Battle of Midway.

Awarded the Navy Cross[edit]

As American carrier groups moved to meet the Japanese thrust at Midway Island, Jaccard, as part of Scouting Squadron 6 (VS-6), attacked enemy carriers during the morning, knocking out Akagi and Kaga. That afternoon the squadron carried out another devastating attack, sinking carrier Hiryu. Jaccard also participated in attacks on the Japanese cruisers Mikuma and Mogami. For his part in a great victory, Jaccard was awarded the Navy Cross.

There was confusion in the initial dive as Lieutenant Commander McClusky called out a dive on one carrier, but then dove on the others (Kaga and Akagi). This caused VS-6 and VB-6 planes to co-mingle on the first carrier, leaving Lt. Richard Best to call off the final two sections of VB-6 to attack the second carrier. Ensigns Pittman and Jaccard were flying as wingmen to McClusky. Pittman should have been the second man down after McClusky, but because of confusion over the ship they were diving on, it was Jaccard who followed McClusky down. During his dive he apparently mistook his undercarriage lever for the wing-brake lever and slowed his plane by lowering his wheels instead of his brake flaps. While he apparently missed his target on that dive, he is credited with a hit on Hiryu (later the same day) and on Mogami (the next day).

Transferred to Bombing Squadron 6[edit]

Ens. Jaccard flew with Bombing Squadron 6 in support of the landings at Guadalcanal and Tulagi as well as the Battle of the Eastern Solomons in which Enterprise was severely damaged. Bombing 6 was ordered to Efate where a four plane division including Ens. Jaccard was detached and sent to the USS Wasp.

Ens. Jaccard was killed when Wasp was torpedoed and sunk September 15, 1942.


USS Jaccard (DE-355) was named in his honor. She was launched by Consolidated Steel Corp., Ltd., Orange, Texas, March 18, 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Ruth Bright Jaccard, wife of Clarence Roy Jaccard and mother of Ensign Jaccard; and commissioned July 26, 1944, Lt. Comdr. C. R. Hamilton in command.

See also[edit]

Other articles of the topic World War II : Oliver Mitchell, Norman Francis Vandivier, Floyd B. Parks, Andrew F. Cook Jr., Marion William Dufilho, List of Third Republic ministers of the Pétain administration, Neldon Theo French
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This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
  • Richard Alonzo Jaccard
  • Scouting Six Action Report
  • USS Jaccard website
  • The Big E, The Story of the USS Enterprise, Edward P. Stafford, ISBN 1-55750-998-0 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png., ISBN 978-1-55750-998-7 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png.
  • Incredible Victory, Walter Lord, ISBN 1-58080-059-9 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png. ISBN 978-1580800594 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png.
  • Carrier Combat, Lt. Fred Mears, ASIN: B000V6MQB4

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