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First Name: Grant

Last Name: Teats

Birthplace: Sheridan, Yamhill, OR, US

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Home of Record: OR
Middle Name: Wayne

Date of Birth: 15 July 1917

Date of Death: 05 June 1943 (Presumed)

MIA Date: 04 June 1942

Rank or Rate: Ensign

Years Served: 1940-1943

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Grant Wayne Teats

Ensign, United States Naval Reserve

Navy Cross & Purple Heart

GRANT WAYNE TEATS was born on 15 July 1917 in Sheridan, Yarnhill, Oregon to Bert Andrew and Jennie Alice (Waugaman) Teats who married on 11 June 1914 in McMinnville, Oregon. Grant's only sibling was younger sister Charlotte Olive Teats Cline. They were the third great grandchildren of Conrad Neff and John Harding, both of whom fought for the freedom of the United States in the Revolutionary War. In 1922 Bert Teats was selected as a Rhodes Scholar for Montana. "Grant W. Teats came to Oregon State from Sheridan, Oregon, where he was an outstanding student and track star. At OSC, Teats was a middle-distance runner for Coach Grant "Doc" Swan's cindermen of the late 1930s. A member of Theta Chi fraternity, the handsome Teats graduated in engineering in 1940." [Other Memories From: http://www.osualum.com By George Edmonston Jr.]


"Grant W. Teats came to Oregon State from Sheridan, Oregon, where he was an outstanding student and track star. At OSC, Teats was a middle-distance runner for Coach Grant "Doc" Swan's Cindermen of the late 1930s. A member of Theta Chi fraternity, the handsome Teats graduated in engineering in 1940."

[Other Memories From: http://www.osualum.com

By George Edmonston Jr.]


Grant enlisted as a Seaman 2/c in the US Navy Reserve (NSN:414-45-96) Aviation Cadet program (V-5) on 5 Oct 1940 in Portland, Oregon. He reported to the Naval Reserve Aviation Base, Seattle, WA on 15 Oct 1940 to begin elimination flight training. He completed that training on 12 Nov 1940, and he was placed on inactive duty status and sent home to await further orders. He reported to NAS Pensacola, FL on 27 Jan 1941 from NRAB Seattle, WA and was discharged that day to accept special orders for appointment as an Aviation Cadet. He was assigned to flight class 160-C. Aviation Cadet Teats completed his flight training, received his gold wings, and was commissioned an Ensign (A-VN) on 21 Jun 1941. Ensign Teats reported to Torpedo Squadron Eight embarked USS Hornet (CV-8) later that year.

Hornet departed Norfolk, VA for the Pacific in March 1942 after months of intensive workups in the Atlantic and Caribbean. Shortly after arriving in the Pacific Hornet played a major role in the successful attack on Japan by Col Doolittle's B-25 force on 18 April 1942. Late in May 1942, a large Japanese carrier force steamed for the Midway Atoll bent on adding it to it list of conquests. The Hornet, along with carriers Yorktown (CV-5) and Enterprise (CV-6) moved to intercept that force. Early in the morning of 4 Jun 1942, Hornet launched her air group of 59 planes to attack the Japanese carriers. Led by Cdr Stanhope Ring, Hornet’s air group flew off in the wrong direction. Their fruitless attempt to find the enemy went down in history as “The Flight to Nowhere.” However, VT-8 altered its course and separated from the rest of the Air Group. They found the enemy carriers. Their objective was to attack; and attack they did! Headlong into the maelstrom without fighter protection, the undaunted 15, lumbering torpedo planes of VT-8 pressed their attack through an onslaught of enemy fighter and anti-aircraft fire. One by one, the torpedo planes were sent hurtling into the sea. All 15 aircraft were shot down with the loss of 29 of the 30 aircrew.

Ens Teats and his radioman/gunner, ARM2 Martin did not return. Their remains were unrecoverable. According to the Hornet’s Midway battle after action report dated 13 Jun 1942, they were listed as "missing in action." On 5 Jun 1943, they were officially listed as presumed dead. In that report Rear Admiral (Select) Mitscher, Hornet CO, nominated each member of Torpedo Eight who flew into battle on 4 Jun 1942 for the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Ens Teats was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross, Purple Heart, Presidential Unit Citation w/ribbon, American Defense Service Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one bronze battle star, and the World War Two Victory Medal.


Navy Cross Citation:

The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Grant W. Teats, Ensign, U.S. Naval Reserve, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Torpedo Plane of Torpedo Squadron EIGHT, embarked from the U.S.S. HORNET, during the "Air Battle of Midway," against enemy Japanese forces on 4 June 1942. Grimly aware of the hazardous consequences of flying without fighter protection, and with insufficient fuel to return to his carrier, Ensign Teats resolutely, and with no thought of his own life, delivered an effective torpedo attack against violent assaults of enemy Japanese aircraft fire. His courageous action, carried out with a gallant spirit of self-sacrifice and a conscientious devotion to the fulfillment of his mission, was a determining factor in the defeat of the enemy forces and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.


Presidential Unit Citation awarded to Torpedo Squadron Eight (VT-8)

For extremely heroic and courageous performance in combat during the Air Battle of Midway, June 4, 1942. Flying low without fighter support, Torpedo Squadron EIGHT began the perilous mission, Intercept and attack! First to sight the enemy, the squadron attacked with full striking power against crushing enemy opposition, scoring torpedo hits on Japanese forces. Realizing to a man that insufficient fuel would prevent a return to the carrier, the pilots held doggedly to the target, dropping torpedoes at point-blank range in the face of blasting antiaircraft fire that sent the planes one by one, hurtling aflame in the sea. The loss of 29 lives, typifying valor, loyalty, and determination, was the price paid for Torpedo Squadron EIGHTs vital contribution to the eventual success of our forces in this epic battle of the air.


His family also received a commemoration from President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It reads:

In grateful memory of Grant Wayne Teats, who died in the service of his country, SEA, Pacific Area, ATTACHED U.S.S. HORNET, 5 JUNE 1943 (Presumed). He stands in the unbroken line of patriots who have dared to die that freedom might live and grow and increase its blessings. Freedom lives, and through it, he lives -- in a way that humbles the undertakings of most men.

(Signed) Franklin D. Roosevelt,

President of the United States


Task Force 16 Citation Recognizing its contribution to the Doolittle Raid, 18 April 1942

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Second World War, it is appropriate that we take time to reflect on the unique and daring accomplishments achieved early in the war by Task Force 16. Sailing westward under sealed orders in April 1942, only four months after the devastating raid on Pearl Harbor, Task Force 16, carrying sixteen Army B-25 bombers, proceeded into history. Facing adverse weather and under constant threat of discovery before bombers could be launched to strike the Japanese homeland, the crews of the ships and LTC Doolittle's bombers persevered. On 18 April 1942 at 14:45, perseverance produced success as radio broadcasts from Japan confirmed the success of the raids. These raids were an enormous boost to the morale of the American people in those early and dark days of the war and a harbinger of the future for the Japanese High Command that had so foolishly awakened "The Sleeping Giant." These exploits, which so inspired the service men and women and the nation live on today and are remembered when the necessity of success against all odds is required.

(Signed) John H.Dalton

Secretary of the Navy

15 May 1995


Daily Capital Journal (Salem, OR) - 03 July 1942, Fri - p.12

Ensign Teats is Missing

The navy department notified Mr and Mrs Bert A. Teats of Sheridan that their son, Ensign Grant Wayne Teats, navy pilot, was reported missing in action while on duty in the Pacific. Grant, a graduate of Sheridan schools and of Oregon State college, was commissioned a navy flier at Pensacola, FL. In addition to the parents a sister Charlotte, and an uncle, Ralph Waugaman, live at Sheridan . . .

[Original article edited for content.]


Combat Action Ribbon (CR) note:

Navy/Marine flight crews in the Battle of Midway (or any combat) were not eligible for or were awarded the Combat Action Ribbon (CR). See Navy and Marine Corps Awards Manual (SECNAVINST M-1650.1 of 16 Aug 2019, Appendix 2C.1.c (3) Amplifying Guidance). It reads in part, “The CR will not be awarded in connection with aerial flight, . . . “ The CR was established in 1969 and made retroactive to 07 Dec 1941. According to the Awards Manual, when deemed appropriate, the award for aerial combat was/is the Air Medal.


[bio #105 composed by Gerry Lawton and Jennifer Neff]

Find a Grave Memorial #56133332

Military Hall of Honor#103092

Honoree ID: 103092   Created by: MHOH




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