Richard L. Cevoli

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Richard L. Cevoli
East Greenwich, Rhode Island
DiedJanuary 18, 1955
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Navy
Commands heldSquadron VF-73
Battles/warsWorld War II
Battle of Leyte Gulf
Korean War
AwardsNavy Cross
Distinguished Flying Cross(2)
Air Medal(8)

Richard L. Cevoli (October 24, 1919 – January 18, 1955) served as a United States Naval Aviator and carrier fighter pilot during World War II and the Korean War. Decorated for valor in both conflicts, Cevoli reached the rank of Commander before he was killed in a plane crash in 1955.[1]


Richard Leo Cevoli was a lifelong resident of East Greenwich. He graduated from La Salle Academy and later from Rhode Island State College, where he earned a degree in civil engineering. He worked for the engineering firm, Merritt, Chapman & Scott, and joined the Navy a month after the attack on Pearl Harbor.[2]

Military career[edit]

World War II[edit]

While serving with Fighting Squadron 18 (VF-18) aboard the U.S.S. Intrepid, Cevoli and other members of the squadron strafed a Japanese battleship during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, silencing many of its guns. The following day, he scored a hit with a 500lb bomb, disabling a Japanese aircraft carrier. Cevoli is also credited with four confirmed air victories and three probables during his service with VF-18.[3]

Korean War[edit]

From 1949 until 1951, Cevoli served as the Executive Officer in Fighting Squadron 32 (VF-32) on board the USS Leyte. In the winter of 1950, he and his pilots provided close in air support against 70,000 Chinese soldiers crossing the Yalu River and enabled 30,000 United Nations soldiers to escape encirclement. He was also division leader for Thomas J. Hudner Jr. and Jesse L. Brown. He radioed for help when Brown was shot down on 4 December 1950, during the mission for which Hudner won the Medal of Honor.[4]

Post-war service[edit]

After the war, Cevoli graduated from the Naval War College. In 1954 he assumed command of Fighting Squadron 73 (VF-73) and attained the rank of Commander. He died when his plane crashed during a training mission.[5]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • Navy Cross ribbon.svg  Navy Cross
  • Distinguished Flying Cross ribbon.svg  Distinguished Flying Cross with one gold award star
  • Air Medal ribbon.svg  Air Medal with 7 gold award stars
  • Rhode Island Aviation Hall of Fame - 2005[6]
  • A post office in East Greenwich was named after him - 2006[7]

See also[edit]

Other articles of the topic World War II : London Lewis Traw, 7th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, List of Third Republic ministers of the Pétain administration, Joseph Lesniewski, Langdon K. Fieberling, Andrew Kenneth Waterman, Gust J. Swenning
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  1. Lisa Vernon-Sparks. "East Greenwich post office to be named for Navy flier on Sunday". Archived from the original on 2011-06-28. Retrieved 2007-10-21.
  2. Senator Jack Reed. "Floor Statement on Legislation to Name East Greenwich Post Office for Commander Richard L. Cevoli". Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2007-10-21.
  3. "Richard L. Cevoli". Hall of Valor Project. Military Times. 2020. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  4. Lloyd Norman (31 March 1951). "Navy to Confer Top Honor on Fighter Pilot". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 9 September access
  5. "Quonset Flier Killed". The Newport Daily News. 20 January 1955. Retrieved 8 September access
  6. "Inductees". Rhode Island Aviation Hall of Fame. 2016. Retrieved 15 November 2017. Commander Richard L. Cevoli, USN (1919-1955)
  7. "Public Law 109-310" (PDF). U.S. Congress. 6 October 2006. Retrieved 15 November 2017. The post office located at 5755 Post Road, East Greenwich, Rhode Island, shall be known and designated as the Richard L. Cevoli Post Office.

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