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Old 31st July 2023, 19:44
keith A keith A is offline
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Captain Thomas Sherwood Sedaker (1918-94)

This pilot claimed seven victories in WW2 flying an FM-2 Wildcat with VC-84 (USS Makin Island). He appears to have a very good career (1935-65), rising to Captain USN.

I have found a few details about this career but would like to fill in the very large blanks.

His family appear have a record of service in the USN as "other ranks". He joined the USN in 1935 and served at NAS Norfolk and NAS Pensacola. Probably ground crew? Now an experienced AMM1c he re-musters as a (trainee?) enlisted pilot in 1941 and serves with VT-7 in USS Wasp. Possibly in the Guadalcanal campaign flying the TBF in 1943? Does he appear in the muster rolls for that unit?

He re-trains as a fighter pilot (in 1943?) and serves with distinction in VC-84 in the Phillippines and Ryuku Islands in 1944-45 claiming three Japanese fighters, three dive bombers and a light bomber (three claims shared) in the period January-April 1945. The latter period as a Lieutenant USN and division leader.

After leaving VC-84 (1945) he flies F4U-1D with VBF-98 (flying accident 10 July 1945). Post-war it is stated in the bio that he flew the Ryan Fireball. In 1949 he is serving with VF-171 (probably not VF174 as is given in his bio. I expect it means VF-17A) and joins the USAF exchange pilot group.

According to his headstone he serves in Korea. No details. He is jet qualified after service with VF171 (FH-1 Phantom/FH-1 Banshee) and the USAF exchange program so it seems possible.

I think he attends the Naval War College in 1951?

He commands VF-121 in 1956-7. Flying FJ-3. His wife produced a "Wives 1957" cruise book...

He becomes a Lieutenant Commander (line) on 1 August 1951, but perhaps is only confirmed as Lieutenant Commander on 1 May 1956. I do not understand this. Does it mean he is a Lieutenant Commander without an assignment?

He serves in Vietnam. No details.

Retires from the USN in 1965.

Once again gentlemen I seek your expertise and indulgence
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Old 31st July 2023, 21:34
R Leonard R Leonard is offline
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Re: Captain Thomas Sherwood Sedaker (1918-94)

In the middle 1950's the USN was still working its way through the glut of wartime promotions.

On 1 Jan 1945 Sedaker was promoted to LT, this was a temporary rank based on his entering date from enlisted status on 23 Sep 1943. Jumping ahead, in 1949 Sedaker was still a LT, but that now was his permanent rank, nothing temporary about it. He was indeed promoted to LCDR with a date of rank 1 Aug 1951; and this was now his permanent rank. He was promoted to CDR as of 1 May 1956, BUT his permanent rank was LCDR.

This is not unusual to see. When my father was promote to CAPT on 1 Jul 1956, his permanent rank was CDR.

By 1958, the notation of one's permanent rank went away which meant that whatever rank one held, CDR for Sedaker, CAPT for my father, for examples, was a permanent rank. By then enough officers had retired or had been separated that it was no longer necessary to keep a general order of seniority based on permanent ranks.

Oh, Sedaker's designator was 1310, 1 for line, 31 for naval aviator, 0 for a regular Navy officer ensign or above.
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Old 1st August 2023, 09:54
keith A keith A is offline
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Re: Captain Thomas Sherwood Sedaker (1918-94)

Many thanks Rich. You are teaching and I am learning. Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?
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Old 1st August 2023, 11:02
Leendert Leendert is offline
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Re: Captain Thomas Sherwood Sedaker (1918-94)

Lt Sedaker is listed as 217th USN pilot to fly a jet plane. This on 4 Nov 1947 at Quonset Point NAS, RI. See the online Mar 1963 issue of Naval Aviation News here: https://www.history.navy.mil/content.../pdf/mar63.pdf (scroll to p. 14).

His stay at the Naval War College was around 1963-64. He wrote a paper "Is Our Tide Ebbing in Japan?" (1964).

Regards,
Leendert
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Old 1st August 2023, 11:17
keith A keith A is offline
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Re: Captain Thomas Sherwood Sedaker (1918-94)

Fantastic! Cheers mate

K
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Old 16th August 2023, 22:23
JACK COOK JACK COOK is offline
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Re: Captain Thomas Sherwood Sedaker (1918-94)

Tom Sedaker did 4 far east cruises abaord the USS Bon Homme Richard CVA-31. Two has CAG-19 and 2 has the CVA's XO. My step-dad knew him fairly well and said that he was a outstanding officer, leader & aviator. He didn't serve in Korea but did do an exchange tour with the USAF flying F-86 Saber Jets..
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Old 17th August 2023, 22:36
keith A keith A is offline
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Re: Captain Thomas Sherwood Sedaker (1918-94)

Thanks Jack
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