Who was Charlie Devens? – Update

He said he was an old man of 33 when he came aboard Intrepid in 1943 as the Flight Deck officer. He was awarded a Bronze Star. He had graduated Harvard, but he said “all he wanted to do was play baseball.” He passed away in 2003 at 93.”

Charles Devens (January 1, 1910 in Milton, Massachusetts – August 13, 2003 in Scarborough, Maine), was a Major League Baseball pitcher after pitching at Harvard (1932-1934). While pitching for Harvard he signed up in 1932 to the New York Yankees. At 92 years of age, Devens   was the oldest surviving member of the famed 1932 world champion Yankees, and he recalled with great detail the now famous Babe Ruth’s ‘Called Shot’.  After leaving the Yankees in 1934, Devens’ Major league career was cut  short by his future father-in-law who refused to have a ball player as a  son-in-law. After his departure from the big leagues Devens established his reputation as a standout businessman in Boston. Given his short 3-year career Charlie Devens was only able to amass 82 innings pitched with only one start in 1934. At the conclusion of his career, Charlie held a 5 and 3 record with 31 strikeouts and a 3.73 ERA.

Charles, whose great-uncle Charles Devens was a Civil War hero and the person for whom Ft. Devens in Ayer, MA, was named, served in the Navy during WWII. He was a flight deck officer aboard the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid, which was the target of an intense Japanese attack on November 25, 1944. According to his Bronze Star citation: “Endangered by fire, suffocation, and exploding ammunition, he let … and was to a large extent responsible for those fires being brought under control.”
Submitted by FCM/Past USS Intrepid Association president, Bob Dougherty
Let Us Not Forget Those Who Have Gone Before Us
____________________________________
UPDATE #1
Update info provided by Mr. David Read, UDO Research Library Manager, Research/Alumni Affairs & Development,
 The Harvard Campaign and obtained
via Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Holdings, Saint Louis

___________________________________

Charles Devens dates of service … Feb 16, ’42 to Oct 15, ’53
Lieutenant Commander Assignments and Geographical Locations:
Feb 21, ’42 to Apr 20, ’42 – Quonset Point, RI Apr 20, ’42 to Jun 23, ’42 – Norfolk, VA Feb 25, ’43 to Jun 29, ’43 – New York, NY Jun 29, ’43 to Jun 29, ’45 – USS Intrepid (CV11) Jun 29, ’45 to Aug ’45
 Naval War College Decorations and Awards
Atlantic Theatre Campaign Medal, Pacific Theatre Campaign Medal w/6 service stars, Commendation Ribbon, Bronze Star
Place of Separation – Newport, RI Award United States Pacific Fleet Third Fleet – 126748
Commendation
“The Commander, Third Fleet, United States Pacific Fleet, takes pleasure in commending Ensign Charles Deven, United States Naval Reserve for service as set forth in the following citation:
For outstanding service as Flight Deck Officer aboard the U.S.S. Intrepid on 29 Oct, ’44
While Lt. Devens was engaged in landing aircraft, his ship was attacked by a group of enemy aircraft and he rendered valuable assistance in combating a fire which resulted and in removing casualties. His conduct was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”
W.F. Halsey, Admiral, U.S. Navy, Commander Third Fleet Dated May 1, ’45
Commendation Ribbon authorized
Non-Classified Finished File PERS 328 March 12, 1947 Ref: 126748
Award
“The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Bronze Star Medal
to Lieutenant Commander Charles Devens, United States Naval Reserve
for service as set forth in the following Citation:
“For heroic achievement as Flight and Hangar Deck Officer of the U.S.S. Intrepid,
in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Pacific War Area, November 25, 1944.
When two Japanese suicide planes with bombs struck the deck of his carrier and started intense fires, Lieutenant Commander (then Lieutenant) Devens directed fire fighting parties on the flight deck
and gallery decks amidst smoke and exploding ammunition.
His courage and devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon Lieutenant Commander Devens
and the United States Naval Service.
Lieutenant Commander Devens is authorized to wear the Combat “C”
For the President
Secretary of the Navy
copy to pers101 public relations navy dept
ref: com2ndcartaskforpac ser0903
Fitness Reports Finished Filed Pers-101
CONFIDENTIAL
To facilitate Administrative Handling Classification changed to Unclassified – Pers 823, Officer Personnel Files “
Presidential Award
“In the name of the President of the United States,
the Commander, Second Carrier Task Force, United States Pacific Fleet,
presents the Bronze Star Medal to Lieutenant Charles Devens United States Naval Reserve
for service as set forth in the following Citation (126748)
“For distinguishing himself by heroic and meritorious achievement while serving as Flight and Hangar Deck Officer aboard an aircraft carrier during the action on 25 November 1944.
Lt. Devens with complete disregard for his own personal safety, endangered by fire, suffocation, and exploding ammunition,
lead and directed fire parties fighting fires on Flight and Gallery Decks
and was to a large extent responsible for these fires being brought under control and extinguished.
His heroism, devotion to duty, fearlessness, and maritorious achievement, were at all times
in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”
J.S. McCain
Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy Commander 2nd Car Task Force
Serial 0903, Jan 12, /45 Temporary Citation Fitness Report/Finished File Pers 823/328
UPDATE #2  – May 29, 2014
Below is a  proper citation for the Deven’s material from NARA.
Note that the citation will be changing in October of ’15.

 “Charles Devens was completely separated from the Navy (Naval Reserve status) on October 15, 1953.  His OMPF, therefore, will not transfer into the holdings of the National Archives until October 15, 2015, 62 years after separation from service.   In view of this, the last element in the citation shown below will be “National Personnel Records Center” until 10/15/2015, at which time the last part of the citation should be changed to read: National Archives at St. Louis.  We would be grateful if the folks at the Intrepid Museum follow through and make this change on 10/15/2015.  Doing so will avoid confusion in the future, should anyone want access to the file after that date.”

At the present time, here is the correct way to cite the material furnished, i.e, the copy of Bronze Star award citation that we sent:

 Now:

 “Official Military Personnel File of Charles Devens; Official Military Personnel Files, Record Group 24, Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel; National Archives and Records Administration–National Personnel Records Center”

10/15/2015:

 “Official Military Personnel File of Charles Devens; Official Military Personnel Files, Record Group 24, Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel; National Archives and Records Administration–National Archives at St. Louis.”

 

 

Advertisements
Leave a comment

5 Comments

  1. David Read

     /  May 8, 2014

    Thanks for this great resource. Can anyone point me to or send me Mr. Deven’s full Bronze Star citation?

    Reply
    • David, good to hear from you and thanks for your interest in my Blog. Sorry to say, my search for Mr. Deven’s citation was also fruitless. Hopefully, another reader will respond. – John

      Reply
    • David, as you can now see, I just posted the info you were kind enough to track down for me. I’m sure fellow readers of my Blog will appreciate your efforts, as I do. – John, Editor

      Reply
  2. This editor appreciates the response from ‘clickrandomblog.wordpress.com/’

    Reply
  1. Charlie Devens – Click Random

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: