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Arlington National Cemetary Website
Used by permission.
Patrick Bellinger graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1907. He was an aviation pioneer, earning his wings in 1912 as Naval Aviator #8, and he participated in the Navy's first transatlantic flight in 1919. He also had combat experience, having flown the Navy's first air combat missions at Vera Cruz in 1914. He had risen to command of all scouting aircraft of the Pacific Fleet at the time of the Pearl Harbor disaster. The majority of his seaplanes were destroyed in the attack. He was responsible for sending the message, "Air raid, Pearl Harbor. This is no drill", which was the first notice to the outside world of the attack.
Bellinger's career survived the disaster, perhaps
because he had co-authored a report with Air Corps General Fredrick L. Martin warning
of the possibility of an air attack on Pearl Harbor. However, while
consulting in Washington, D.C., in July 1942, a routine physical
examination discovered that he had a mild heart condition, which ended
his combat career. He
Chief of Staff to Admiral King
the next month. In March 1943, he took command of all antisubmarine patrol aircraft
in the Atlantic, and was promoted to vice admiral in October.
Bellinger was noted for a sunny disposition that
masked a strong sense of conviction. Though not a deep thinker, he was
willing to champion the conclusions of more brilliant subordinates.
||Born at Cheraw, South Carolina
||Graduates from Naval Academy
||Commander, Hampton Roads Naval
||Commander, Norfolk Air Station
||Commander, Patrol Wing 2
||Chief of staff, U.S. Fleet
||Commander, Atlantic Fleet Air
||Dies at Clifton Forge, Virginia
Arlington National Cemetary Website (accessed 2008-1-11)
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