Richard Nott Antrim - Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, VA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Marine Biologist
N 38° 52.534 W 077° 04.418
18S E 320117 N 4305011
Quick Description: Richard Antrim, a Lieutenant and executive officer of the U.S.S. Pope when it was sunk by the Japanese in 1942, was taken captive and held at Makassar in the Celebes. His grave is located in the Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.
Location: Virginia, United States
Date Posted: 4/21/2010 5:17:32 PM
Waymark Code: WM8N11
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Norfolk12
Views: 5

Long Description:
From Wikipedia:

"Richard Nott Antrim (December 17, 1907 – March 7, 1969) was an officer in the United States Navy who received the United States' highest military decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions as a prisoner of war during World War II. He retired in 1954 as a rear admiral.

Early life and career

Antrim was born in Peru, Indiana and entered the United States Naval Academy in 1927, graduating on June 4, 1931. He served briefly in the 11th Naval District before reporting to the battleship USS New York as fire control officer. Detached from that battleship in April 1932, he received flight instruction at the Naval Air Station (NAS), Pensacola, Florida, before serving consecutive tours of sea duty on the USS Salinas, USS Nitro and USS Trenton.

Subsequently ordered to the Bethlehem Steel Corporation in Quincy, Massachusetts, Antrim assisted in fitting out USS Portland and after her commissioning, served as a division officer in that heavy cruiser until the spring of 1936. After that time, he became assistant first lieutenant in USS Crowninshield before undergoing instruction in lighter-than-air (LTA) flight at NAS Lakehurst, New Jersey. Antrim subsequently received his naval aviator (LTA) designation, qualified for duty as an airship, kite, or free-balloon pilot. In the spring of 1938, Antrim arrived on the Asiatic Station and served as executive officer of USS Bittern before joining USS Pope in December 1939, as her executive officer. The outbreak of war in the Pacific Ocean in December 1941 found Antrim still serving in that capacity.

World War II

During her brief wartime career, Pope played a significant part in three major engagements fought by the venerable Asiatic Fleet destroyers — the battles of Balikpapan, Badung Strait, and the Java Sea.

In the former, Pope delivered close-range attacks that momentarily helped to delay the Japanese landings at Balikpapan. During the action, Lieutenant Antrim selected targets for his guns and torpedoes, placing his shots accurately in the midst of a large Japanese convoy and thus inflicting damage to several enemy ships. After the Battle of Badung Strait, Pope's commanding officer, Commander Welford C. Blinn, reported that his executive officer was "highly deserving of commendation for the meritorious performance of his several duties before and throughout the action." Citing Antrim as a "ready assistant in navigation fire control, and torpedo fire," Blinn recommended him not only for a destroyer command but for a "decoration deemed appropriate." Antrim later received a Navy Cross for this service.

The Battle of the Java Sea (27 to February 28, 1942) ended all Allied hope of stemming the Japanese onslaught. In the wake of that action, the smashed Allied fleet attempted to escape the cordon of Japanese warships rapidly tightening the noose around Java. Among the small groups was one composed of the British heavy cruiser HMS Exeter, the destroyer HMS Encounter, and Pope.

The ships slipped out of Surabaya, Java, on the evening of February 28, but were spotted the next day by Japanese aircraft. A surface force of cruisers and destroyers located the fleeing trio, and a fierce action ensued, with Exeter and Encounter after having put up a stiff fight, going down under a deluge of Japanese shells. Pope, however, fought on, managing to make a temporary haven in a passing rain squall.

Unfortunately, the destroyer — an Asiatic Fleet flushdecker "old enough to vote" — could not elude her pursuers. Ultimately, damaged by Japanese bombs, from aircraft summoned from the Japanese carrier Ryujo, and by shells from the Japanese force, Pope began to sink, but not before all but one of her men had reached safety in life rafts and the destroyer's sole motor whaleboat. Antrim, wounded in the action, helped to gather the life rafts around the boat to facilitate the distribution of what meager supplies were available to the men. His devotion to duty during the ordeal inspired and sustained his shipmates' morale.

Prisoner of war

For three days and nights, Pope's survivors stuck together as a group until picked up by a Japanese warship and handed over to Japanese Army authorities at Makassar, in the Celebes Islands.

There, Antrim performed an unforgettable act of personal bravery. During the early part of his imprisonment at Makassar in April 1942, he saw a Japanese guard brutally beating a fellow prisoner of war and successfully intervened, at great risk to his own life. For his conspicuous act of valor, Antrim later received the Medal of Honor.

Subsequently when the Japanese forced Antrim to take charge of a labor detail assigned the task of constructing slit trenches for protection during air raids, he carefully rearranged the construction work plans approved by the Japanese and gained their approval of his own ideas. Under the eyes of their captors, the POWs dug the slit trenches all right, but in a curious pattern recognizable from the air as a giant US which clearly and craftily identified the occupants of the trenches. This audacious action possibly saved hundreds of prisoners of war from mistaken bombings by Allied planes. Antrim carried out the plan in spite of the fact that discovery of his trick would have resulted in instant beheading. For this, Antrim received a Bronze Star."

Type of Resource: Grave

Other from above - Please Specify: N/A

Relevant Position in Armed Forces:
He was a U.S. Navy Lieutenant and executive officer of the U.S.S. Pope when taken as a Prisoner of War in WWII. He later attained the rank of Rear Admiral.


Nationality: USA

Relevant Website: [Web Link]

Date if Relevant: Not listed

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Marine Biologist visited Richard Nott Antrim - Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, VA 4/20/2010 Marine Biologist visited it