Gerald L. Ketchum
|Born||5 December 1908|
|Died||22 August 1992 (aged 83)|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
Legion of Merit
Navy Commendation Medal
Rear Admiral Gerald L. Ketchum (5 December 1908 – 22 August 1992) was a career officer in the United States Navy. He served during World War II and the Korean War. He was a recipient of the Silver Star and also participated in four expeditions to Antarctica.
Upon his retirement from the Navy he was promoted to the rank of rear admiral in recognition of his wartime service. He died in Plano, Texas on 22 August 1992.
Ketchum Ridge in Antarctica is named after him.
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Lieutenant Commander Gerald Lyle Ketchum (NSN: 0-70240), United States Navy, for gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy. While Commanding Officer of the Destroyer U.S.S. PERKINS (DD-377), on 22 September 1943, during an operation in which his ship was assigned to screen a convoy of landing craft, he assisted in meeting, repelling and destroying a vicious enemy air attack launched by ten torpedo planes. He quickly and efficiently brought his ship into action, taking station between the planes and the defenseless convoy, and while being heavily strafed, simultaneously avoided two torpedoes by skillful maneuvering, kept all batteries in action, shot down one torpedo plane, and assisted in the destruction of another. His actions and conduct were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Legion of Merit to Captain Gerald Lyle Ketchum (NSN: 0-70240), United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States as Deputy Commander, United States Naval Support Force, Antarctica, during Operation DEEP FREEZE I and II from 1 February 1955 to 22 March 1957. An extremely competent and resourceful leader, Captain Ketchum has been responsible for and has directly supervised the preparation and implementation of plans for two Antarctic expeditions which involved the design, establishment, and operation of seven widely dispersed bases constructed to support the Antarctic program of the United States National Committee for the International Geophysical Year. Assuming command of Task Force units from 10 December 1955 to 3 February 1956 during Operation DEEP FREEZE I, he skillfully directed aircraft and ship units in hazardous and difficult operations. During Operation DEEP FREEZE II, he assumed command of the Task Force from 14 September to 20 December 1956, during which period he conducted through the dangerous Antarctic ice pack without damage the largest convoy of ships ever deployed to the Antarctic. From 14 January to 27 February 1957, he assumed command of a task group of three ships and established a base on the Knox Coast under extremely adverse ice conditions. By his outstanding leadership, judgment and inspiring devotion to duty throughout, Captain Ketchum upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
General Orders: Board Serial 895 (4 December 1957)
Action Date: 1 February 1955 – 22 March 1957