Long time member of the USS MASSEY Association, Judy Massey, wife of our ship namesake’s son, CDR Lance B. Massey, USN (ret), recently sent the EXCOMM an article of major interest to our association. In a 13 August 2021 article in the Watertown (NY) Daily Times & Northern New York Newspapers titled “Medal of Honor posthumously sought for Navy Pilot raised in Watertown” potentially opens another chapter in the legacy of our ship’s namesake, LCDR Lance E. Massey, USN, a naval hero at the Battle of Midway.
Congressional House Representatives Elise M. Stefanik, 21st District New York, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, 5th District Washington State, Dusty Johnson, At Large District South Dakota, and Steve Womak, 3rd District Arkansas, have sent a joint letter to Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro requesting that the three torpedo squadron commanders at the Battle of Midway which included LCDR Massey, CO Torpedo Squadron 3 (VT-3), be posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
LCDR Massey along with fellow torpedo squadron commanders, LCDR John Waldron VT-8 (South Dakota) and LCDR Eugene Lindsey VT-6 (Washington) led their squadrons without fighter air cover in attacking an enemy force of 5 Japanese aircraft carriers and numerous escorts at the Battle of Midway on 4 June 1942. All three squadron commanders were lost in the attack and were awarded the Navy Cross for their valor. Midway became the turning point of WWII in the Pacific for the Navy thanks to the bravery and sacrifice of these squadron commanders and their wingmen.
Thanks to Judy Massey for making us aware of this potential and unique development. Awarding of a Congressional Medal of Honor is a momentous event in Navy history and if approved by the Secretary of the Navy, it would appropriately acknowledge the extraordinary commitment and bravery of these naval aviators in achieving ultimate victory in the Pacific. If any of the sponsoring Congressional members above are your Federal representatives, please consider writing them a note of thanks. The EXCOMM will closely monitor this development and keep the association membership aware of events.