A U.S. Navy destroyer commander received the Silver Star for his heroism fighting the Japanese 70 years ago during World War II.
In action off Nauru Island in December 1943, Navy Lieutenant Commander Ulysses S. Grant Sharp Jr. demonstrated the classic traits of a good destroyer captain in combat—leadership, nonstop vigilance, seamanship, timing, and calculated risk. A 1927 Naval Academy graduate, Sharp had a distinguished career, rising to the rank of four-star admiral, serving as Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, from 1963–64, and Commander, Pacific Command, from 1964–68. He also became a strong opponent of Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara’s policies in Vietnam in the 1960s. Now, in World War II, he was at the helm of a single ship in a historic U.S. armada.