Flags at Gainesville’s Medal of Honor Park will be flown at half-staff until sundown Wednesday as a salute to Medal of Honor recipient Navy Capt. Thomas J. Hudner Jr.
The Congressional Medal of Honor Society announced Tuesday that Hudner died Monday morning, Nov. 13, 2017, in Concord, Massachusetts. He was 93.
Hudner, a native of Fall River, Massachusetts, is a retired U.S. Navy Captain and a veteran of both the Korean War and Vietnam War. Throughout his 27-year career in the U.S. Navy, he was in aviation-related assignments, nine years of which were in aircraft carriers or carrier-based squadrons. His last assignment was in the Pentagon with the Joint Chiefs of Staff after which he retired from active duty in 1973.
In the Korean War, he was attached to Fighter Squadron 32 based on board USS Leyte operating In the Sea of Japan, and in the Vietnam War he was navigator and then executive officer of the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk operating in the Gulf of Tonkin. It was for the attempted rescue of a squadmate shot down behind enemy lines on Dec. 4, 1950, during the historic battle near the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea that he was awarded the Medal of Honor.
He is a graduate of Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, the U. S. Naval Academy and the Air War College. He received his master’s degree in international affairs from George Washington University.
He was appointed Commissioner of Veterans Services of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in February of 1991 by Gov. William F. Weld.
Thomas J. Hudner Jr., is survived by his wife, Georgea, and family. Funeral services are pending. There are 72 Medal of Honor recipients alive today.