James "Jim" Hazelwood (SEAL)
|| Dela and Jim's
home in Gladys VA.
Credit for all articles and
pictures from the archieves of:
click on photos to enlarge.
Veteran 'didn't want a lot of hoopla'
By Ron Brown / Lynchburg News & Advance
June 5, 2004
Jim Hazelwood believed that service to his
country was a duty. Fanfare was a matter of choice.
So it seems fitting that he will be buried
today in a quiet ceremony at the Carwile Family Cemetery in Gladys.
The 85-year-old veteran of three American wars
died earlier this week from complications from a stroke.
"He didn’t want a lot of hoopla,"
said his son, Tom. "He just felt like he was one person among many who have
served their country. If there was going to be a fuss over him, he felt that
there should be a fuss made over all vets."
That type of humility, coupled with quiet
strength, is what endeared him to his family, friends and fellow veterans.
"He was a warrior," his son said.
Hazelwood’s military record reads like a
chronicle of distinguished service awards.
He was a survivor of Pearl Harbor and was
wounded during the sinking of the aircraft carrier USS Lexington in World War II
during the Battle of the Coral Sea.
As a Navy diver, he was wounded while placing
two markers on the beach before the Marine landing at Iwo Jima.
He fought again in Korea and Vietnam.
He also served on diving teams that provided
splashdown rescue for astronauts on NASA’s Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space
He won the Silver Star and was awarded two
Purple Hearts as a result of his combat experiences.
In his own understated way, he once summed up
his military record like this:
"My greatest accomplishment is being a
survivor of 32 years of hard Navy service."
Terry L. Jamerson, who met him about a decade
ago at the Lynchburg Area Detachment Marine Corps League, viewed his record much
"As part of our ‘Greatest Generation,’
he was a leader among men and a true American hero that may never receive the
recognition he deserves from all of us," Jamerson said.
Those who knew him believe Hazelwood wouldn’t
have had it any other way.
"He didn’t brag," said Ben
Brenneman, who met Hazelwood in the late 1980s as they both rode with the
Lynchburg Bicycle Club when Hazelwood was well into his 70s.
Some said Hazelwood was going on 25-mile
bicycle rides as he approached the age of 80.
Jamerson said that persona fits with the aura
of a Navy Seal, which Jamerson said is among America’s fighting elite.
"Most Marines look up to Navy Seals as
being tougher than we are," Jamerson said.
But it was on the home front where Hazelwood’s
toughness shone through as he helped his wife of 59 years, Della, fight the
ravages of Alzheimer’s disease.
It was in that battle that Hazelwood
consummated his reputation as a warrior and the embodiment of the Marine’s
"Semper Fi," Jamerson said.
» Contact Ron Brown at email@example.com
or (434) 385-5542.
Doc Riojas NOTE: I spoke with my
Friend, Tom Hazelwood, Jim's son about obtaining a picture of Jim in USNAvy
Dress uniform. I never got it, but that's OK.
Tom said that Jim had a stroke, was taken to
the hospital and the next day he died. Della, Jim's wife suffers
from the advanced stages of Alzheimer's Disease and he was her primary care
giver. I understand their daughter will continue taking care of her mother
I last sat and chatted with Jim at the UWSS
reunion at Little Creek Va. May 2002. He looked great. He said he was
still doing a little P.T. every morning.
LCDR JAMES ROY HAZELWOOD (SEAL)(MDV)
by: Franklin Anderson
From The Blast 3d Quarter 2003
I would like to provide additional information on LCDR JAMES
ROY HAZELWOOD. Previously, I had submitted a Wake Island Detachment Photo and
Called Chief Hazelwood ‘ROY". That was what be was referred to in UDT-1 1
UNLESS IT WAS CHIEF. I had the pleasure of having Master Chief Hazelwood as my
Platoon Chief and as Jim Barnes said "he was a Horse".
When Chief Hazelwood first came to Team 11, his reputation
preceded him. He was known; for going shark hunting with "power
heads", and was fearless. Another story was that he was diving in the
Caribbean and found a Rolex watch that was encrusted with coral. He corresponded
with Rolex, thinking they would really jump on the promotion of their product,
since it started running as soon as he shook it. Rolex - in a nonchalant way
said that "all of our products will perform like that" or something to
that effect. As previously stated Chief Hazelwood was in my Platoon and he went
with me to do Cable repairs at Wake Island (Photo previously submitted).
Upon our return, the Navy came out with a program for Chiefs
with 18 years or more, could apply for a commission. I encouraged
"Roy" to apply and also gave him an outstanding endorsement. We
submitted the application and then departed for Kwajalein for another Cable Job.
While there many incidents happened that I believe you will enjoy. Chief
Hazelwood was a Master Diver and a physical Horse—he always ran wherever he
went and prided himself in his abilities both mental and physical.
While at Kwajalein Island proper, we worked long hours
blowing channels and laying the cable. We also conducted Aqua Lung classes for
some of the people with the installation. We had a couple of engineers who were
always trying to trip up the Chief (who was our senior Instructor). One evening
the Chief was going thru some Diving Physics and equations. These engineers
immediately hopped on the Chief about the math portion. "Roy", paused
like he was baffled and them slowly and diligently went thru a long formulation
and made their jaws pop—Roy was self-educated and was a Whiz at Math, Geometry
Needless to say-from that point on the Class paid close
attention and were very grateful for his expertise. There also were a couple
more incidents that were memorable—LT ANDERSON (OINC) and LTJG Harry Mackenzie
lived in quarters some distance from the men’s barracks and we had a 4X4 for
transportation. One morning we went out and all four tires were Flat. Lt
Sorenson (cousin to PRESIDENT KENNEDY’S SPEECH WRITER) asked if we would like
a ride to the UDT Barracks—We said sure— We rode up and all at once
everybody was after SN Gerald Berg and SN Ted Matheson to pay up. It seems that
Matheson and Berg had been taking bets that we would walk to work. It was
obvious who had let the air out of the tires. I turned to the Chief and said,
" I’ll let you handle those energetic Seamen". Chief Hazelwood,
found a hand-Tire pump and made them pump up the four tires to 35 lbs. That was
quite a chore and a valuable lesson.
The other incident was off the Island of Aniwetoc (not the
Atom Bomb Island), and we were laying explosive. The Chief was always a
perfectionist and ready to go, his diving partner was James Pahia. Pahia was
slower in getting ready and The Chief was already in the water- He submerged and
was down just a short duration when he popped to the surface and "Stepped
on the Bow of the LCM", He was speechless and looked at Pahia-who was still
standing on the ramp. He walked over and punched him in the Arm. After a few
minute he compose himself- he explained that he was under the LCM and something
bumped him hard on the arm, he thought it was Pahia. It happened again and he
turned and saw about a 20 foot Great White Shark.
The Chief received his orders for Knife and Fork school, and had to depart
before the job was completed, but he was always impeccable and dedicated to his
duties. He received orders to a ship and then to the East Coast.
We were going thin Parachute Training at Fort Benning and Ens. Hazelwood was
going thru at the same time—He had to get a waiver because of his age.
However, he out performed many of the younger men. James Roy Hazelwood’s
brother was going through Jump Training at the same time (Army) and he was going
to quit. Roy told him that isn’t the Hazelwood tradition and really chewed him
out. They both graduated.
This was during the time that President Kennedy was assassinated. They
bunched up three classes to make up the delay in the schedule – They had jump
with over 20 knots of wind and jumpers scattered all over the place. However,
all the Frogs completed the jump without incident. UDT-11 Robbie Robinson was
Honor Man of the Class and "Roy Hazelwood received special recognition for
being one of the Oldest in the Class.
song: Eye of the Tiger
USS Lexington CV2 (Originally CC-1), 1927-1942
USS Lexington, a 33,000-ton aircraft carrier, was converted while under construction
from the battle cruiser of the same name. Built at Quincy, Massachusetts, and commissioned
in December 1927, Lexington was one of the U.S. Navy's first two aircraft carriers that
were large and fast enough to be capable of serious fleet operations. During the late
1920s, through the 1930s and into the early 1940s, she took an active part in the
development of carrier techniques, fleet doctrine and in the operational training of a
generation of Naval Aviators.
displacement: 41,000 tons
length: 888 feet
beam: 105½ feet
draft: 32 feet
speed: 34¼ knots
complement: 2,122 crew
armament: 8 eight-inch and 12 five-inch guns
My friend and shipmate, Jim Hazelwood was an enlisted
man in the U.S. Navy during WWII. He was ships company on the USS Lexington when it
came under attack attack by several Japanese torpedo bombers as described in the book,
"Queen of the Flat-Tops." Jims battle station was atop the ships
island about 60 feet above the flight deck. Around the upper rim of the island was a
catwalk with a platforms for machine gun mounts. At 1121 hours the Lex was under attack by
torpedo and dive bombers. All of the ships batteries were in action and the the
blast of the second torpedo that struck Lex on her port side was almost inaudible because
of the extreme noise of her weapons.
Jim was manning his 50 cal machine gun when a light bomb hit the
Lexs funnel. It exploded and kills and wounds several men on the catwalk. Moments
later, the Zero dive bombers machine guns wounds and kills many more of the men around the
catwalk. Jim told me about the sudden moaning eerie wail of the Lexs steam siren. It
seems that a jap bomb struck and kinked the metal tube in which the lanyard, operating the
whistle from the bridge was housed. When the tube bent it pulled the lanyard tight causing
the whistle to continue to hoot and moan until somebody turned off the steam to it.
The Japanese did not sink the Lex. They damaged her to a degree that
secondary internal fires created an inferno that cooked off airplane fuel and some 20,000
pounds of torpedo war-head guncotton. The ship was abandoned because all resources to
fight the fires and continue damage control were 100% out of commission. She became an
internal infrerno. One of our Destroyers sank her with two torpedoes.
Jim Hazelwood, also told me that he had to swim away from the Lex which
was drifting towards some of the men in the water. She drifted away and floated down wind
leaving a stream of swimmers and loaded rafts strung out for nearly 1,000 yards. It is
speculated that shark attacks were not reported probably because of the the repeated heavy
explosions that may have scared the sharks away and also perhaps of the abundance of fish
that were killed great distances from the Lex.
Jim Hazelwood found himself , by the grace of God, alive and swimming among his
shipmates whose thoughts were, "we are only a 400 mile swim from Australia." The
survivors were rescued by the Carrier and Destroyers that were part of that Task Force and
from Australia were shipped back to the States. Jim had met the "White
Elephant!" in the Battle of the Coral Sea, 7-8 May 1942.
In early May 1942, Lexington returned to the South Pacific in time to
join USS Yorktown (CV-5) in successfully countering the Japanese offensive in the Coral
Sea. On 7 and 8 May 1942 her planes helped sink the small Japanese aircraft carrier Shoho
and participated in attacks on the large carriers Shokaku and Zuikaku. In turn, however,
she was the target of Japanese carrier planes and received two torpedo and three bomb
hits. Though initial damage control efforts appeared to be successful, she was racked by
gasoline explosions in the early afternoon of 8 May. When the fires raged out of control,
Lexington was abandoned by her crew and scuttled, the first U.S. aircraft carrier to be
lost in World War II.
Lexington's task force sortie from Pearl Harbor 15 April, rejoiningTF 17 on 1 May 1942.
As Japanese fleet concentrations threatening the Coral Sea were observed, Lexington and
Yorktown moved into the sea to search for the enemy's force covering a projected troop
movement the Japanese must now he blocked in their southward expansion, or sea
communication with Australia and New Zealand would be cut, and the dominions threatened
On 7 May search planes reported contact with an enemy carrier task force, and
Lexington's air group flew an eminently successful mission against it, sinking light
carrier Shoho. Later that day, 12 bombers and 15 torpedo planes from still unlocated heavy
carriers Shokaku and Zuikoku were intercepted by fighter groups from Lexington and
Yorktown, who splashed nine enemy aircraft.
On the morning of the 8th, a Lexington plane located Shoksku group; a strike was
immediately launched from the American carriers, and the Japanese ship heavily damaged.
The enemy penetrated to the American carriers at 1100 and 20 minutes later a torpedo to
port struck Lexington. Seconds later, a second torpedo hit to port directly abreast the
bridge. At the same time, she took three bomb hits from enemy dive-bombers, producing a
7° list to port and several raging fires. By 1300 her skilled damage control parties had
brought the fires under control and returned the ship to even keel; making25 knots, she
was ready to recover her air group. Then suddenly Lexington was shaken by a tremendous
explosion, caused by the ignition of gasoline vapors below, and again fire raged out of
control. At 1508 Capt. Frederick C. Sherman, fearing for the safety of men working below,
secured salvage operations, and ordered all hands to the flight deck. At 1707, he
ordered,"abandon ship!" and the orderly disembarkation began, men going over the
side into the warm water, almost immediately to be picked up by nearby cruisers and
destroyers. Admiral Fitch and his staff transferred to cruiser Minneapolis, Captain
Sherman and his executive officer, CDR. M. T. Seligman insured all their men were safe,
then were the last to leave their ship.
Lexington blazed on, flames shooting hundreds of feet into the air. A destroyer closed
to 1500 yards and fired two torpedoes into her hull, with one last heavy explosion, the
gallant Lexington sank at 1956, in 15°20'S. 1oo°30' E. She was part of the price that
was paid to halt the Japanese oversee empire and safeguard Australia and New Zealand, but
perhaps an equally great contribution had been her pioneer role in developing the naval
aviatorsand the techniques which played so vital a role in ultimate victory in thePacific.
Lexington received two battle stars for World War II service.
photo taken in 1947.
||click to enlarge.
Ceremony USS Kittiwake (ASR-13)
29 Sep 94' Norfolk
Nav.Base Norfolk VA
LT L. H. COLLIER 1946 - 1948
LTT. C. HURST 1948- 1950
LT W. K. WILSON 1950 - 1952
LTP. P. ROGERS 1952- 1954
LT T. E. COLBURNE 1954 - 1954
LCDRW.H.HIBBS 1956- 1958
LCDR W. M. SCOTT 1958 - 1960
LCDR P.O. POWELL 1960 - 1962
LCDR R. E. KUTZLEB 1962 - 1964
LCDR G. R. LANGFORD 1964 - 1966
LCDR H. H. SCRANTON 1966 - 1968
LCDR R. F. JAMES 1968 - 1970
LCDR W. J. MULLALY 1970 - 1971
LCDR S. MCNEASE 1971 - 1974
CDR F. K. DUFFY 1974 - 1977
CDR F. M. SCHERY 1977 - 1979
CDRP. F. FAWCETT 1979- 1981
CDR R. J. NORRIS 1983 - 1985
CDR J. S. TROTTER 1988 - 1991
CDR S. N. ZEHNER 1993 - 1994
|| USS KITTIWAKE COMMISSIONED 18 JULY 1946
THE COMMISSIONING PENNANT
Upon the order
"Break the commissioning pennant," a ship becomes the responsibility of the
Commanding Officer, who, together with the ship's officers and men, have the duty of
making her ready for any service required by our nation, whether in peace or at war.
For centuries the commissioning pennant has been the
symbol of a man-of-war. It is believed to date from the 17th century, when the Dutch were
at war with the English. Dutch Admiral Harpertzoon Tromp hoisted a broom at his masthead
to symbolize his intention to sweep the English from the sea. This gesture was answered by
British Admiral William Blake, who hoisted a horsewhip indicating his intention to
chastise the Dutch. The victorious British thus set the precedent for a long, narrow
commissioning pennant to symbolize the original horsewhip as the distinctive symbol of a
ship of war.
The modem U.S. Navy commissioning pennant is blue at the
hoist with a union of seven white starts, and a horizontal red and white stripe at the
29 SEPTEMBER 1994
Navy tradition dictates that each ship constructed for the service be
honored on four historic ceremonial occasion: Keel-laying, christening (or launching),
commissioning, and decommissioning. The decommissioning ceremony is the time-honored
ceremony which terminates the ship's active naval service.
The ceremony today ends the active service of USS
KITTIWAKE. It is a tribute to this workhorse warrior and the long line of rugged crew
members, past and present, who served faithfully on her decks. Following 48 years of
continuous, honorable, commissioned service, the order will be given to "Strike the
commissioning pennant and secure the watch." For the final time, the commissioning
pennant, ensign and union jack will be hauled down and the crew assembled on the pier. The
fourth oldest U.S. Navy ship in continuous active service will have decommissioned.
click on photos to enlarge:
||There is a port of no return, where ships May
ride at anchor for a little space And then, some starless night, the cable slips, Leaving
an eddy at the morring place...Gulls, veer no longer. Sailor, rest your oar. No
tangled wreckage will be washed ashore. by: Leslie Nelson
|CDR S. N. ZEHNER
LCDR X. Z. HERRINGTON II
LT A. A. SMITH III
LT R. T. WINFIELD
LTJG E. S. HUNTER
CWO2 S. H. CLAYTON
| ENCMS (SWIMDV) EVANS COMMAND MASTER CHIEF
|| CHIEF PETTY OFFICERS
|FR M.J. ALARCON
EN2 S.L. ARNOLD
BM1(SWIDV) G.D. BRANDON
RM2 D.K. CASTO
HT2(SW) ER. DURKIN
YNl ED. FITZGERALD
HM1(SW) J.L. HALL
M53 D.L. JOHNSON
ET3 T.T. LAWRENCE
QM3(SW) T.G. MCMILLAN
GMGl(SW) R.A. MURRAY
BM2(SW) M.P. NELSON
SKSN P.J. ORELLANA
SN C.M. PETERSEN
EN1(SW) D.B. RINEHART
EN3 T.C. SCHNEIDER
ICFN I.E SOMOSKY
SN D.W. SPRINGER
RM1(SW) B.J. THOMPSON
EN1(SW) D.N. WALKER
DC2 A.A. WILLIS
SN R.L. WYNN
BM3(SW/SS/DV) J.J. ANDERSON
EN2(DV) S.P. BAIN
DC l(SW) J.D. BUSSARD
EN3 W. CLEMONS
GMG3 R.L. DONN
EN2(DV) G.D. ELLEDGE
MM1(DV/SS) K.J. GEST
EN3(SW) J.W. HARTKE
5H2 L.M. JOHNSON
EM3 J.L. LUCE
EN E MESSINA
HM2(SWIDV) D.D. MURRAY
EM2 W.S. NOAKES
0S3 D.W. PARKER
EN2 B.D. PIERCE
SN T.L. ROSS
BM1(SW) I.L. SMITH
YN3 M.D. SPERLING
SN R.M. STOKES
MS1 D.E. THOMPSON
RM3 B.J. WARFORD
PN1 I. WOODS
|BM2(SWIDV) J.S. ANNON
EM 1(SW) A.L. BOND
BM3 A.E. CAINES
ET2 R.D. CROSBY
SN G.M. DRAPER
RM3 R.A. EMANUELSON
EM3(SW) D.E. GROVER
IC 1(SW) A.A. JOHNSON
EN3 M.T. KELLER
EMl(SW) T.M. MCCULLOUGH
MR2(SW) T.G. MINGS
EM3 J.L. NAVARRET~E
ET3 B.T. NUNLEY
M53 M.W. PARKER
SN I. RAUF
1C2(SW) F.E. SCHAEFER
BM2 E.W. SMITH
SN B.J. SPRING
0S3 R.B. STUBER
MSSN D.R. TUCKER
SN E.L. WATERS
M52 C. WRIGHT
Vida Loca - Copyright ©1998 - All Right Reserved
||music: "Eye Of the Tiger"
||Email : Jim Hazelwood