Glynn R. Donaho

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Glynn Robert Donaho
Glynn R. Donaho.jpg
Born (1905-03-25)March 25, 1905
George, Texas
Died May 26, 1986(1986-05-26) (aged 81)
Sierra Vista, Arizona
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch United States Department of the Navy Seal.svg United States Navy
Years of service 1927-1967
Rank US-O9 insignia.svg Vice Admiral
Commands held USS Flying Fish
USS Picuda
Battles/wars World War II
Korean War
Cold War
Awards Navy Cross (4)
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star (2)
Bronze Star

Glynn Robert "Donc" Donaho (March 25, 1905 - May 26, 1986) was a U.S. Navy officer known principally for his exploits as a submarine commander during World War II, for which he received the Navy Cross four times, the Silver Star twice, and the Bronze Star. Donaho was born in George, Texas. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1927.

Donaho was the commander of the submarine USS Flying Fish (SS-229) during five war patrols in the Pacific during World War II. He was promoted to Lieutenant Commander at the beginning of 1942 and to Commander in September of that year. In 1944, Donaho commanded a submarine division as well as the submarine USS Picuda (SS-382) during her third war patrol.

After the war, Donaho testified as a witness at the court martial of Captain Charles Butler McVay III, commander of the USS Indianapolis (CA-35). Although he was called as a prosecution witness, Donaho's testimony was actually helpful to McVay. Both Donaho and Mochitsura Hashimoto, the commander of I-58, the Japanese submarine that sank the Indianapolis, testified that zigzagging would not have saved the Indianapolis.

Donaho was promoted to Rear Admiral in 1957 and to Vice Admiral in 1963. He retired from the Navy in 1967 and died in Sierra Vista, Arizona on May 28, 1986.

Awards and decorations[edit]

First Navy Cross citation[edit]

His official first Navy Cross citation reads:[1]

Action Date: August 15 - September 15, 1942
Name: Glynn Robert Donaho
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Company: Commanding Officer
Division: U.S.S. Flying Fish (SS-229)
Citation: The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lieutenant Commander Glynn Robert Donaho (NSN: 0-61092/1100), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism and courageous devotion to duty in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. FLYING FISH (SS-229), on the SECOND War Patrol of that submarine during the period 15 August 1942 to 15 September 1942, in action with enemy Japanese naval forces in the Pacific War Area. Upon sighting a KONGO Class enemy battleship heavily screened by air and surface craft, Lieutenant Commander Donaho daringly maneuvered his ship to penetrate the enemy screen. In a bold, determined attack, he scored two direct hits, sinking an enemy patrol vessel and severely damaging the battleship which was observed to be burning fiercely one hour and fifty-three minutes later when the FLYING FISH returned to periscope depth after being driven deep by heavy enemy counter-offensive. The courage and skill displayed by Lieutenant Commander Donaho and the exemplary fighting spirit of his command were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Second Navy Cross citation[edit]

His official second Navy Cross citation reads:[2]

Action Date: October 27 - December 16, 1942
Name: Glynn Robert Donaho
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Company: Commanding Officer
Division: U.S.S. Flying Fish (SS-229)
Citation: The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Navy Cross to Lieutenant Commander Glynn Robert Donaho (NSN: 0-61092/1100), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. FLYING FISH (SS-229), on the THIRD War Patrol of that submarine during the period 27 October 1942 to 16 December 1942, in enemy controlled waters of the Solomon Islands. With skillful maneuvering and outstanding seamanship, Lieutenant Commander Donaho, despite the great mental and physical strain caused by long patrols in enemy waters, relentlessly pressed home his attacks. Defying the ever-present danger of anti-submarine measures, the men under his command on the FLYING FISH directed their torpedo fire with such accuracy that two enemy destroyers were sunk, while their own ship came through unscathed. Lieutenant Commander Donaho's courageous devotion to duty and intrepid fighting spirit reflect great credit upon himself, his command, and the United States Naval Service.

Third Navy Cross citation[edit]

His official third Navy Cross citation reads:[3]

General Orders: Commander in Chief Pacific: Serial 01227
Action Date: January 5 - February 28, 1943
Name: Glynn Robert Donaho
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Company: Commanding Officer
Division: U.S.S. Flying Fish (SS-229)
Citation: The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Second Gold Star in lieu of a Third Award of the Navy Cross to Lieutenant Commander Glynn Robert Donaho (NSN: 0-61092/1100), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. FLYING FISH (SS-229), on its FOURTH War Patrol in the Pacific, patrolling the waters of the Marianas Islands from 5 January 1943 to 28 February 1943. Skillfully maneuvering his ship within striking distance of the enemy, Commander Donaho made repeated torpedo attacks against Japanese shipping, sinking four vessels totaling 28,000 tons, and damaging two others totaling 12,620 tons. Despite vicious and determined countermeasures, he and his gallant men brought the FLYING FISH through these actions with only minor damage and without personnel casualties. Commander Donaho's able and fearless leadership and aggressive fighting spirit were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.


Fourth Navy Cross citation[edit]

His official fourth Navy Cross citation reads:[4]

General Orders: Pacific Fleet Board Awards: Serial 80 (January 5, 1945)
Action Date: July 23 - October 3, 1944
Name: Glynn Robert Donaho
Service: Navy
Rank: Captain
Company: Commanding Officer
Division: U.S.S. Picuda (SS-382)
Citation: The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Third Gold Star in lieu of a Fourth Award of the Navy Cross to Captain [then Commander] Glynn Robert Donaho (NSN: 0-61092/1100), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. PICUDA (SS-382), on the THIRD War Patrol of that submarine during the period 23 July 1944 to 3 October 1944, and as Commander of the ELEVENTH Coordinated Attack Group of Submarines. Despite strong air and surface escort screens maintained around enemy shipping, Captain Donaho launched well planned and aggressive torpedo attacks which resulted in the sinking of five enemy freighters totaling 20,000 tons, and in the infliction of severe damage on a large 10,000-ton Japanese transport. In addition, he planned the actions of the attack group which sank sixteen enemy ships totaling 93,500 tons and damaged six other enemy ships totaling 49,000 tons and, escaping severe enemy countermeasures, brought his ship back to port. His professional skill and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.


Ribbon bar[edit]

Known decorations and medals include:

Gold star
Gold star
Gold star
Gold star
V
Gold star
Gold star
Bronze star
Silver star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Submarine Warfare insignia
1st Row Navy Cross w/ three Gold stars
2nd Row Navy Distinguished Service Medal Silver Star w/ one bronze star Bronze Star Medal
3rd Row Navy Commendation Medal w/ one bronze star and "V" Device Navy Unit Commendation w/ one bronze star American Defense Service Medal w/ Atlantic Clasp
3rd Row American Campaign Medal Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ one silver and two bronze service stars World War II Victory Medal
3rd Row Navy Occupation Service Medal China Service Medal National Defense Service Medal w/ one bronze star
4th Row Korean Service Medal United Nations Korea Medal Philippine Liberation Medal

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Silent victory: the U.S. submarine war against Japan, Clay Blair Jr. (Imprint Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 2001)
  • Abandon Ship! The Saga of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, the Navy's Greatest Sea Disaster, Richard F. Newcomb (Harper Collins, 2001)

External links[edit]