The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia
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Center #NH 69403. Cropped by author.
Felix Stump served on convoy
escort duty in the Atlantic
during the First World, qualified as a naval aviator in 1920, and
earned an M.S. degree from MIT in aeronautical engineering. He was
serving as captain of Langley
at Manila when war broke out
was ordered to escape to Australia.
He held shore assignments with the short-lived ABDA command and on the U.S. West
Coast before taking command of the second Lexington.
Stump was solicitous of his airmen, once signaling
a submarine that had
six of his fliers that "Anything on Lexington
is yours for the asking. If it is too big to carry away, we will
up in small parts." He had a reputation for being slow to anger,
but took an admiral to task in the 1930s for a perceived insult to
his air group.
Stump was promoted to rear admiral in May 1944 and commanded Task Unit 77.4.2 at Leyte Gulf. His unit was far enough south to avoid damage when Kurita broke through San Bernardino Strait and fell upon Clifton Sprague's unit further to the north. Stump had no use for false bravado; once his aircraft were all launched, he commented that (Cutler 1994):
When I was at the Academy as a midshipman, we used to talk about the deathless statements of our old naval heroes, and I've often wondered just what sort of deathless statement I would make at the appropriate time. The one that sticks in my mind is that of John Paul Jones, who said, "No naval commander makes a tactical error in laying his ship alongside that of the enemy." John Paul Jones to the contrary, notwithstanding, the time has come to get the hell out of here.
||Born at Perkersburg, West
||Graduates from Naval Academy,
standing 59th in a class of 182.
||Commander||Maintenance Division, Bureau
Aeronautics, Navy Department
||Executive officer, CV Enterprise
||Commander, AV Langley
||Commander, ABDACOM Combined Operations
||Air officer, Western Sea
||Commander, CV Lexington
||Chief, Naval Air Technical
||Commander, Naval Air,
||Commander, 2 Fleet
||Commander, Pacific Fleet
||Military advisor, SEATO
||Commander, Pacific Fleet|
||Dies at McLean, Virginia
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