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First Name: George

Last Name: Street

Birthplace: Richmond, VA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)

Rating:

Home of Record: Annapolis, MD
Middle Name: Levick



Date of Birth: 27 July 1913

Date of Death: 26 February 2000

Rank or Rate: Captain

Years Served: 1931-1966
George Levick Street III

   
Engagements:
•  World War II (1941 - 1945)

Biography:

George Levick Street III

Captain, U.S. Navy

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War II

Captain George Levick Street III (27 July 1913 - 26 February 2000) was a U.S. Navy officer and submariner who received the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions during World War II.

George Levick Street III was born on 27 July 1913 in Richmond, VA. He joined the Naval Reserve in 1931 and was selected for an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy in 1933; he graduated in 1937.

After serving in the USS Concord (CL-10) and USS Arkansas (BB-33) he volunteered for the Submarine School at New London, CT.

After graduating, Street served three years in USS Gar (SS-206), from her commissioning on 14 April 1941 until 27 February 1944. Street served in this fleet submarine, first as Gunnery and Torpedo Officer, then as First Lieutenant and Torpedo Data Computer Operator and finally as Executive Officer and Navigator. While serving in Gar, he made nine war patrols. Street received Silver Stars for his "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action" on Gar's first and tenth patrols.

On 6 July 1944, LCDR Street reported to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard to fit out the USS Tirante (SS-420), his first command. Commissioning the ship in November, the captain took his new boat for shakedown training in Long Island Sound and further training in waters off Panama and Hawaii. The ship's first war patrol, commencing 3 March 1945 was southwest of Kyūshū, Japan's southernmost island. By that point in the war, most of Japan's merchant fleet had already been sunk, but Street went into shallow water close to shore and found several ships.

On 14 April, following a report from Naval Intelligence, Street took Tirante into Cheju harbor - on the surface, to avoid shoals and minefields. Using all six of his remaining torpedoes, he sank a freighter and two of its escorts. For this action, Tirante was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation (US), Street received the Medal of Honor, and his executive officer, LT Edward L. Beach, Jr., received the Navy Cross.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Commander, U.S. Navy, USS Tirante.

Place and date: Harbor of Quelpart Island, off the coast of Korea, 14 April 1945.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of the U.S.S. Tirante during the first war patrol of that vessel against enemy Japanese surface forces in the harbor of Quelpart Island, off the coast of Korea, on 14 April 1945. With the crew at surface battle stations, Comdr. (then Lt. Comdr.) Street approached the hostile anchorage from the south within 1,200 yards of the coast to complete a reconnoitering circuit of the island. Leaving the 10-fathom curve far behind, he penetrated the mined and shoal-obstructed waters of the restricted harbor despite numerous patrolling vessels and in defiance of 5 shore-based radar stations and menacing aircraft. Prepared to fight it out on the surface if attacked, Comdr. Street went into action, sending 2 torpedoes with deadly accuracy into a large Japanese ammunition ship and exploding the target in a mountainous and blinding glare of white flames. With the Tirante instantly spotted by the enemy as she stood out plainly in the flare of light, he ordered the torpedo data computer set up while retiring and fired his last 2 torpedoes to disintegrate in quick succession the leading frigate and a similar flanking vessel. Clearing the gutted harbor at emergency full speed ahead, he slipped undetected along the shoreline, diving deep as a pursuing patrol dropped a pattern of depth charges at the point of submergence. His illustrious record of combat achievement during the first war patrol of the Tirante characterizes Comdr. Street as a daring and skilled leader and reflects the highest credit upon himself, his valiant command, and the U.S. Naval Service.

On 20 May, Tirante began her second war patrol as command ship of a nine-boat wolf pack dubbed "Street's Sweepers." Street again managed to find, and sink, several enemy ships. On 11 June, he crept into Ha Shima harbor, some seven miles from Nagasaki and picked out the 2200-ton Hakuju Maru moored alongside a colliery. For this patrol, LCDR Street was awarded the Navy Cross. That citation reads in part "...Tracking his targets relentlessly ...(he) launched his smashing torpedo and gunfire attacks against hostile freighters, junks and picket boats, sinking over 7000 tons of shipping vital to Japanese supply..."

In July 1946 Street was transferred to the Office of Naval Research for duty as Head of Subsurface and Surface Warfare Branch of the Planning Division, involved in undersea warfare research. From November 1946 to July 1949, CDR Street commanded USS Requin (SS-481). He attended the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, VA, from 1948 to 1951 - the first year as a student; the following years as a member of the faculty.

Captain Street retired from the Navy on 10 August 1966.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Navy Cross
Silver Star Medal (2 Awards)

Honors

To some extent, Edward Beach modeled the hero of his first novel, Run Silent, Run Deep (1955), on his wartime skipper.

Death and Burial

Captain George Levick Street III died on 26 February 2000 at age 86. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, in Section 7A, Lot 130-B.



Honoree ID: 1661   Created by: MHOH

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