Edmund Ernest García

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Edmund Ernest Garcia
Rear Admiral Edmund Ernest Garcia (1926).jpg
Rear Admiral Edmund Ernest Garcia
Born March 25, 1905
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Died July 01, 1971
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch Seal of the United States Department of the Navy.svg United States Navy
Years of service 1927-?
Rank US-O7 insignia.svg
Rear Admiral
Commands held USS Sloat
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Bronze Star Medal ribbon.svg Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V"

Edmund Ernest Garcia (March 25, 1905 – July 1, 1971) was a former United States Navy Rear Admiral who commanded the destroyer escort USS Sloat (DE-245) during World War II and participated in the invasions of North Africa, Sicily, and France.

Early years[edit]

Garcia was born to Enrique García and Antonia Rumirez in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the capital city of the island. There he received both his primary and secondary education. Garcia was born into a family with a long tradition of military servitude. His father, Enrique Garcia, was a Captain in the United States Army. In 1922, Garcia graduated from high school and received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy from Emmet Montgomery Reily, who served as appointed Governor of Puerto Rico from (1921–1923).[1]

Naval career[edit]

Garcia, was supposed to graduate from the academy in 1926, however he did not graduate and receive his commission of Ensign until June 17, 1927, because of his academic deficiency in mathematics.[2]

Garcia's first assignment was aboard the USS Wyoming where he served as an artillery officer from 1927 to 1928. He was later assigned to the USS Galveston and in 1928 was trained as a naval aviator at Pensacola, Florida. Garcia received addition training in various military institutions which included the Torpedo School of San Diego, California.[3]

From 1932 to 1939, of Garcia served in various ship's, among them the USS New México, USS Heron, USS Asheville and the USS Tulsa. This was with the exception of the years 1935 to 1917, when he served as flight instructor at Naval Aviation School in Pensacola. In 1939, he was reassigned to Fort Mifflin, Pennsylvania where he helped prepare and equip the USS Hornet. He worked on various aircraft carriers until 1941, when the United States entered World War II.[3]

World War II[edit]

USS Sloat

In February 1942, Garcia assumed command of the minesweeper USS Cormorant (AM-40) at the Washington Navy Yard, in Washington, DC. On June 1942 Cormorant was reclassified as a tug boat and her hull designation was changed to AT-133.

Between 18 January and 19 May 1943, Cormorant gave tug services at Guantanamo Bay to destroyers in training there, and entered the Charleston Navy Yard for repairs in June. Garcia was then transferred to serve as prospective commanding officer of the destroyer escort USS Sloat (DE-245).

In June 1943 he reported to the Brown Shipbuilding Co. in Houston, Texas where the Sloat was being built. The Sloat was an Edsall-class destroyer escort, which was launched on January 21, 1943 and commissioned on August 16, 1943, under the command of then Lieutenant Commander Garcia.[3]

On November 11, the Sloat, was assigned to the Escort Division (CortDiv) 7, and sailed out of New York Harbor with convoy UGS-24 bound for Norfolk and North Africa. The convoy arrived at Casablanca on December 2, and returned to New York on December 25, 1943.

On January 10, 1944, the Sloat sailed to Casablanca and returned to New York on March. That same month the Sloat joined a convoy, consisting of 72 merchant ships and 18 LST's, which was guarded by Task Force (TF) 64. En route to Bizerte, Tunisia, the convoy was attacked by the Luftwaffe on April 1, approximately 56 miles west of Algiers. Two planes were shot down and two damaged while only one ship in the convoy was damaged. The convoy arrived at Bizerte on April 3.

Eight days later, Sloat joined another convoy and returned to New York on May 1.[4] García was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V" for his actions. Part of the citation reads as follows:[3]

"Meritorious achievement during operations against enemy forces while serving as Commander of a unit of ships of an escort group protecting trans-Atlantic Convoys during World War II...'

From June 15 to July 15, the Sloat operated in the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean in search of German U-boats.[4]

Later years[edit]

From 1944 to 1945, Garcia served as commandant of the 58th Escort Division of the USS Price. Upon his return to the United States after the war, Garcia served as commanding officer of the Naval Recruitment Station in New Orleans, Louisiana. After serving a short stint as commander of the USS Whitley, Garcia was assigned as commanding officer of the Naval Base at Orange, Texas and in May 20, 1954, he was given his last assignment before his retirement from the Navy, that of Commandant of the Sub Group 2, Charleston Group, in the Atlantic Fleet. Garcia died July 1, 1971.[3]

Decorations and awards[edit]

Rear Admiral Garcia's military awards include:


Further reading[edit]

  • "Puertorriquenos Who Served With Guts, Glory, and Honor. Fighting to Defend a Nation Not Completely Their Own"; by : Greg Boudonck; ISBN 1497421837; ISBN 978-1497421837

See also[edit]