PERSONALIA
 
Name:  Riley, Paul James (Service number: 0-078730, U.S. Navy)
Date of birth: April 12th, 1913 (Hot Springs/Arkansas, United States)
Date of death:  June 4th, 1942
Nationality:  American
BIOGRAPHY: 
Paul James Riley, born April 12th, 1913 in Hot Springs, Arkansas, enlisted in the Naval Reserve on December 12th, 1931 and was appointed midshipman on June 26th, 1933. He was commissioned ensign 4 years later in 1937, was designated naval aviator on May 22nd, 1940 and on July 28th, he reported for duty in Torpedo Squadron 6 aboard U.S.S. Enterprise (CV-6). Promoted to lieutenant on January 6th, 1942. A little over 5 months later, during the Battle of Midway (June, 4th), Lieutenant Riley was killed in action.
     
NAVY CROSS
Rank: Lieutenant
Unit: Torpedo Squadron 6 (VT-6), U.S.S. Enteprrise (CV-6)
Awarded on: December 1942
Action: Citation:
"For extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier- based Navy Torpedo Plane of Torpedo Squadron SIX (VT-6), embarked from the U.S.S. ENTERPRISE (CV-6), during the "Air Battle of Midway," against enemy Japanese forces on 4 June 1942. Participating in a vigorous and intensive assault against the Japanese invasion fleet, Lieutenant Riley pressed home his attack with relentless determination in the face of a terrific barrage of anti-aircraft fire. The unprecedented conditions under which his squadron launched its offensive were so exceptional that it is highly improbably the occasion may ever recur where other pilots of the service will be called upon to demonstrate an equal degree of gallantry and fortitude. His extreme disregard of personal safety contributed materially to the success of our forces and his loyal conduct was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country."
Details: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 309 (December 1942).
 
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Picture source:   - US Naval Academy Alumni Association
Information source(s):   - Sterner C.D, Recipients of The Navy Cross, 1916 - Present
- Bill Gonyo
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