b. 05/04/1888 Minneapolis, Minnesota. d. 07/12/1941 Pearl Harbour, Hawaii.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 07/12/1941 Pearl Harbour, Hawaii.
World War II Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. He graduated from the US Naval Academy in June 1909 and initially served on battleships, punctuated by a tour with the Asiatic Squadron, 1911 to 1914. During World War I, he served as an Engineering Officer on the battleship USS Rhode Island. After the war he was a Naval Academy instructor also served on the battle ships USS Minnesota and Maryland. Promoted Commander, he served at the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C. and commanded Destroyer Squadron Five, 1928 to 1936. In 1938, he was promoted Captain of the Third Naval District and became Commanding Officer of the battleship USS Arizona stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in February 1941. During the attack on the US Fleet, Pearl Harbor by Japanese forces on December 7, 1941, Captain Van Valkenburgh gallantly commanded the USS Arizona until magazine explosions and a direct bomb hit on the bridge resulted in the loss of his life. For conspicuous devotion to duty and extraordinary courage, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. The destroyer USS Van Valkenburgh (DD-656), was named in his honor.
For conspicuous devotion to duty, extraordinary courage and complete disregard of his own life, during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor T.H., by Japanese forces on 7 December 1941. As commanding officer of the U.S.S. Arizona, Capt. Van Valkenburgh gallantly fought his ship until the U.S.S. Arizona blew up from magazine explosions and a direct bomb hit on the bridge which resulted in the loss of his life.
BURIAL LOCATION: LOST AT SEA
IMO AT FOREST HOME CEMETERY, MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN.
Lot 12, Block 6, Section 25
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