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Remembering World War II
Name: Fulton John Oliver Rank: Aviation Chief Machinist’s Mate Service Number: 6075437 Service: Torpedo Squadron 2 (VT-2), USS Hornet (CV-12), US Navy Awards: Air Medal, Purple Heart Date of Birth: March 21, 1907 Place of Birth: Point Edward, Sydney, Cape Breton, NS Date of Enlistment: Unknown Place of Enlistment: Unknown Address at Enlistment: Unknown Age at Enlistment: Unknown Height: 5 feet, 11 inches Complexion: Ruddy Hair Color: Brown Eye Color: Blue Occupation: Portsmouth Naval Yard Marital Status: Married Next of Kin: Mary Margaret Oliver, wife Date of Death: September 21, 1944 Age: 37 Cemetery: Manila American Cemetery and Memorial Grave: Walls of the Missing Fulton John Oliver was the son of James S. Oliver (1871-1952) and Sarah Sadie McDonald (1874–1950). His father was born in Sydney, Cape Breton, NS, and his mother was also born in Cape Breton. He had four sisters, Mary Elizabeth Oliver (born in 1897), Sarah Frances Oliver (1900-1981), Anne S Oliver (1903-1977) and Isabel Oliver (1915-1987), and two brothers George F. (born in 1907) and Alan Frederick Oliver (1909- 1966). John and his family immigrated to the United States when John was six, in 1913. In 1920, the family was living at Franklin Square in Gloucester, Mass. John’s father was working as a night watchman at a teaming firm, his mother was a homemaker. His sister Frances worked as a packer in a glue factory, his sister Annie, as an inspector in a shoe factory. Fulton married Mary Margaret Lamb (1908-1965) of Rockport, Mass. on June 10, 1926, in Manchester, Essex Co., Mass. Fulton and Mary had six children in Gloucester, Mass. They had five sons, John Fulton Oliver Jr (1927–1982), George Oliver Weiler (1929–2013), born in Rockport, James Leroy ‘Roy’ Oliver Kelly (1931–1998), David Norman Oliver Riemer (1933–2011), and Donald Oliver Weiler (1936–1953); and a daughter Joan L Oliver Bennett (1931–2011). Roy and Joan were twins. Fulton and Mary were legally divorced in 1936. By 1940 John was living with his parents (now 70 and 63 years old) at 62 Middle Street in Gloucester, Essex Co., Massachusetts, with his siblings George and Annie and his first son John Junior. His other children were adopted into other families. John was working as a chauffeur. Fulton registered for the US Draft on October 16, 1940, in Kittery, York Co., Maine. He was working at the Navy Yard in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. After enlisting in the Navy, he was stationed at the Quonset Point Naval Air Station, in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. In addition to American training, beginning in 1943, pilots of the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm were trained at Quonset Point to fly the Vought F4U Corsair, which was then brought into service on British carriers. Fulton served on the USS Hornet (CV-12), the Essex-class aircraft carrier during the Second World War. The USS Hornet was the second carrier of her name, completed in late 1943, and assigned to the Fast Carrier Task Force (variously designated as Task Force 38 or 58) in the Pacific Ocean, the navy's primary offensive force during the Pacific War. In early 1944, Hornet participated in attacks on Japanese installations in New Guinea, Palau and Truk among others. Hornet then took part in the Mariana and Palau Islands campaign and most of the subsidiary operations, most notably the Battle of the Philippine Sea in June of 1944 that was nicknamed the "Great Marianas Turkey Shoot" for the disproportionate losses inflicted upon the Japanese. Fulton Oliver was killed in action on September 21, 1944. His Grumman Avenger aircraft took off from the USS Hornet in a flight of five planes from Torpedo Squadron Two on a bombing mission against enemy shipping and installations in Manila Bay, Luzon Island, The Philippines. Intense enemy anti-aircraft fire was encountered near and over the target area. The plane he was aboard appeared to be hit, crash in flames in Manila Bay and breakup. One parachute was seen to fully open and another to trail and hit the water but no survivors were ever found. Aviation Chief Machinist’s Mate Fulton John Oliver is remembered on the Walls of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in the Philippines. At the time of his death, his next of kin is recorded as his wife, Lorraine Ames Oliver (1910-1990). The USS Hornet and her aircrews were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for their actions, including the actions of Fulton John Oliver during his time on the Hornet: Fulton’s first son, John Fulton Oliver Jr also served in the US Navy from January 10, 1945 until August 7, 1946. He served on the USS Los Angeles (CA-135), Baltimore-class heavy cruiser, during the Second World War, and again enlisted during the Korean War and served January 22, 1951 until January 8, 1952. Son George served in the US Coast Guard; James Leroy served from 1948-1952 in the US Army during the Korean War, and David served as a Specialist Third Class in the US Army.
Fulton John Oliver
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The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting: the PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION to the USS HORNET and her attached Air Groups participating in the following operations: March 29 to May 1, 1944, Palau, Hollandia, Truk; June 11 to August 5, 1944, Marianas, Bonins, Yap; September 6 to 24, 1944, Philippines, Palau: AG-2 (VF-2, VB-2, VT-2, Part of VFN-76). October 10 to November 22, 1944, Ryukyus, Formosa, Philippines, Luzon; December 14 to 16, 1944, Luzon; January 3 to 22, 1945, Philippines, Formosa, China Sea Ryukyus: AG-11 (VF-11 VB-11 VT-11). February 16 to June 10, 1945, Japan, Bonins, Ryukyus: AG-17 (F-17, VBF-17, VB-17 VT-17). for service as set forth in the following CITATION: "For extraordinary heroism in action against enemy Japanese forces in the air, ashore and afloat in the Pacific War Area from March 29, 1944, to June 10, 1945. Operating continuously in the most forward areas, the USS HORNET and their air groups struck crushing blows toward annihilating Japanese fighting power; they provided air cover for our amphibious forces; they fiercely countered the enemy's aerial attacks and destroyed his planes; and they inflicted terrific losses on the Japanese in Fleet and merchant marine units sunk or damaged. Daring and dependable in combat, the HORNET with her gallant officers and men rendered loyal service in achieving the ultimate defeat of the Japanese Empire"
John Fulton Oliver Jr