Navy Cross


LT Insignia - Navy
United States Navy
Pilot - Navy Dive Bomber/Section Leader
Bombing Squadro Thirteen (VB13)
U.S.S. Franklin (CV13)


Navy Cross - Ribbon
Date of Action: October 25, 1944

Leading his section against enemy Japanese forces in the Sibuyan Sea during the Air Battle of Leyte Gulf, in the face of continuous and intense anti-aircraft fire and enemy air opposition, Lieutenant Bomberger scored a direct hit on an enemy aircraft carrier which contributed to its sinking. By his superb flying ability, indomitable fighting spirit and cool courage, maintained at great personal risk, Lieutenant Bomberger contributed immeasurably to the extensive and costly damage inflicted on the Japanese fleet in this vital war area. His conduct throughout this action reflects great credit upon himself, and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Commander, 2d Carrier Task Force, Pacific: Serial 0768 (January 4, 1945)

Born: April 8, 1917 at Lebanon, Pennsylvania
Home Town: Lebanon, Pennsylvania



Commander Insignia - Navy
United States Navy
USS Houston (CA-30)


Navy Cross - Ribbon
Date of Action: March 1, 1942

It was during the abandonment of the sinking Houston at the Battle of Sunda Strait that Commander Rentz entered the water and attained partial safety along with other crewmembers on a destroyed airplane's float. Seeing extreme overcrowding and the fact that the pontoon was taking on water, he attempted to relinquish his space and lifejacket to wounded survivors nearby. He declared "You men are young, I have lived the major part of my life and I am willing to go." According to Houston survivor Private Jim Gee, no one would oblige the generous, fearless chaplain. Each time Rentz attempted to leave he was brought back by his shipmates. He ultimately relinquished his lifejacket to Seaman First Class Walter L. Beeson, who recounts that Rentz "told me his heart was failing him; told me he couldn't last much longer." Following a brief prayer, the Chaplain gave the lifejacket to Beeson who refused to put it on. Rentz kicked away from the float and disappeared. Gee recalled "No one realized what had happened. It's just one of those things that one minute he's there, and the next minute... he wasn't." When Beeson realized that Rentz was gone, he put on the lifejacket. For these actions, Rentz was posthumously awarded the United States Navy's second highest award for valor, the Navy Cross.

Commander Rentz was the only Navy Chaplain to be so honored during World War II.

Born: July 25, 1882 at Lebanon, Pennsylvania