World War II Honor Roll

Robert Joseph Valentine

Storekeeper First Class


United States Navy

Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: January 16, 1946
Buried at: Section 1 Row 10 Site 17 
                  Mount Moriah Cemetery Naval Plot

                  62nd Street & Kingsessing Avenue
                  Philadelphia PA 19142

STOREKEEPER FIRST CLASS ROBERT JOSEPH VALENTINE was born in New Jersey on May 29, 1943 to Anthony Valentine and his wife, the former Helen Corson. Robert J. Valentine enlisted in the United States Navy on May 26, 1941 at Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Robert J. Valentine's father was a member of the Camden Fire Department. The 1930 Census shows the family, which included older siblings Catherine and Albert, living at 447 Jackson Street in Camden, New Jersey.

On December 18, 1941 Seaman Second Class Robert J. Valentine was transferred from the Receiving Station at Norfolk, Virginia to joined the crew of USS Polaris AF-11. USS Polaris (AF-11) was a Type C2 "Liberty fleet" standard freighter and an Aldebaran-class stores ship acquired from the United States Maritime Commission by the US Navy for World War II. Polaris made five round trips from the U.S. East Coast to Reykjavík, Iceland from June 1942 to February 1943. 

On June 1, 1942 Robert J. Valentine was promoted to Seaman First Class. Robert K. Valentine was promoted to Storekeeper Third Class on October 1, 1942.

On February 16, 1943 Robert J. Valentine was transferred to the Receiving Station at Norfok, Virginia (REC.STA.NORVA) in order to join the crew of the new USS Yorktown CV-10. Yorktown was commissioned on April 15, 1943, with Captain Joseph J. Clark in command, with Robert J. Valentine being a member of her original crew. In August he was promoted to Storekeeper Second Class.

USS Yorktown remained in the Naval Station Norfolk area until May 21, when she got underway for shakedown training in the vicinity of Trinidad. She returned to Norfolk on June 17 and began post-shakedown availability. The aircraft carrier completed repairs on 1 July and began air operations out of Norfolk until July 6, when she exited Chesapeake Bay on her way to the Pacific Ocean. She transited the Panama Canal on July 11 and departed Balboa, Panama, on July 12. The warship arrived in Pearl Harbor on July 24 and began a month of exercises in the Hawaiian Islands. On August 22, she stood out of Pearl Harbor, bound for her first combat of the war. Her task force, TF 15, arrived at the launching point about 128 miles (206 km) from Marcus Island early on the morning of August 31. She spent most of that day launching fighter and bomber strikes on Marcus Island before beginning the retirement to Hawaii that evening. The aircraft carrier reentered Pearl Harbor on September 7 and remained there for two days.

On September 9, she stood out to sea, bound for the West Coast of the United States. She arrived in San Francisco on September 13, loaded aircraft and supplies, and returned to sea on 15 September 15. Four days later, the aircraft carrier reentered Pearl Harbor. Yorktown returned to sea to conduct combat operations on September 29. Early on the morning of October 5, she began two days of air strikes on Japanese installations on Wake Island. After retiring to the east for the night, she resumed those air raids early on the morning of October 6 and continued them through most of the day. That evening, the task group began its retirement to Hawaii. Yorktown arrived at Oahu on October 11 and, for the next month, conducted air training operations out of Pearl Harbor.

On November 10, Yorktown departed Pearl Harbor in company with Task Force 38—the Fast Carrier Task Force, Pacific Fleet—to participate in her first major assault operation, the occupation of the Gilbert Islands. On November 19, she arrived at the launch point near Jaluit and Mili Atoll and, early that morning, launched the first of a series of raids to suppress enemy airpower during the amphibious assaults on Tarawa, Abemama, and Makin. The next day, she sent raids back to the airfield at Jaluit; some of her planes also supported the troops wresting Makin from the Japanese. On November 22, her air group concentrated upon installations and planes at Mili once again. Before returning to Pearl Harbor, the aircraft carrier made passing raids on the installations at Wotje and Kwajalein Atolls on December 4. The warship reentered Pearl Harbor on December 9 and began a month of air training operations in the Hawaiian Islands.

On December 13, 1943 Storekeeper Second Class Valentine was transferred from USS Yorktown CV-10 to Carrier Aircraft Service Unit number one (CASU 1), based on Ford Island in the Pearl Harbor. This unit provided support and services to the aircraft carriers coming through Pearl Harbor. At some date thereafter he was promoted to Storekeeper First Class. e appears to have been last stationed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Storekeeper First Class Valentine at the United States Naval Hospital at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania of died of peritonitis, most likely haven resulted from a burst appendix, on January 16, 1946. He was buried in the Naval Plot at Mount Moriah Cemetery in Philadelphia PA. Robert Valentine was survived by his wife, Emma May "May" Valentine, of 6924 East Walnut Avenue, Pennsauken NJ.

Certificate of Death