North High School Wall of Honor
George Gray Caudill
Class of June, 1940
George Gray Caudill, 1940
Research done by Claradell Shedd, Class of 1953.
George Gray Caudill

George graduated in the June, 1940 North High class. George enlisted in the U.S. Navy in Des Moines, IA. His service number was 6203996. George's next of kin was listed as Wilbern Tyre Caudill, 1717 Mondamin Avenue, Des Moines, IA.

George Gray Caudill
Year   Rank   Status
June, 1940   Graduated   Graduated from North High School, Des Moines, IA.
date x What was he doing? x Details
March 21, 1942 x Enlisted/
US Navy
x George enlisted in US Navy in Des Moines, IA
April, 1942 x US Navy/Corpsman x Basic Training at Great Lakes Naval Training Center, IL. One year to become pharmacist's mate.
April, 1942-
August, 1943
x US Navy/
Chief Pharmacist's Mate
x Great Lakes Naval Hospital as a Chief Parmacist's Mate
August 25, 1943 x US Navy/
Chief Pharmacist's Mate
x Train to Brooklyn, NY to the US Navy Receiving Barracks, Brooklyn Naval Yards.
September 27, 1943 x US Navy/ x Aboard the *USS Blue Ridge (AGC-2) through Panama Canal enroute to Brisbane, Australia.
George's notes: "It was just like going down any river."
October , 1944       Following invasion in Lyete Gulf
November 24, 1944 x US Navy x Transferred to Surgical Team #12 on **LST-470. On board 470, invasion of Lingeyen Gulf (dispatached people to save those who had survived Bataan death march.)
March 5, 1945 x US Navy x ***LST-927.
April; 17, 1945-July 8, 1945 x US Navy x Base Hospital #17; Hollandia, New Guinea.
August 6, 1945 x Event x Atomic bombing of Hiroshima
August 9, 1945 x Event x Atomic bombing of Nagasaka
Sept. 2, 1945 x Event x Unconditional surrender of Japan.
October 27, 1945 x US Navy x Returned to United States
December 17, 1945 x US Navy x Discharged
1948+ x Schooling x University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA (details)
September 5, 1948 x Family x Married Dorothy May Swendsen (d.12/12/12). Met Dorothy at Great Lakes Naval Station during their military careers. Dorothy was a US Navy LTJG. She was a surgical nurse at University of Iowa Hospitals in Iowa City while George attended medical school.
date x Employed x Medical doctor in Des Moines, IA
date x Employed x During medical practice.
October 20, 2010
x Deceased x While living in Des Moines, IA.
October 21, 2010 x Buried x Iowa Veterans Cemetery; Van Meter, Dallas County, Iowa, USA; Plot: Section 5 Site 93. Find A Grave Memorial #61252555
Atomic Bomb Test/USS Burleson; Bikini Atoll;
Crossing 180th Meridian
Coming: George Caudill in Navy Coming: George Caudill
Photo of *USS Blue Ridge (AGC-2) amphibious force flagship
USS Blue Ridge (AGC-2)
*USS Blue Ridge; AGC-2 Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons
USS Blue Ridge (AGC-2) Ribbons
Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: China Service Medal (extended); American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (2)
Bottom Row: World War II Victory Medal ; Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp); Philippines Liberation Medal (2)
*USS Blue Ridge (ASC-2)
Following trial runs in Long Island Sound, Blue Ridge departed New York on 8 October 1943, to train in the Chesapeake Bay Area out of Norfolk, Virginia. On 1 November, the ship put to sea with two destroyers, bound for the South Pacific. After transit of the Panama Canal, Blue Ridge called at the Society, New Caledonia and Fiji Islands, en route to Brisbane, Australia, arriving on 16 December 1943. She pulled out of Brisbane three days later for Milne Bay, New Guinea where 24 December 1943, she became the flagship of Rear Admiral Daniel E. Barbey, USN, Commander Seventh Amphibious Force. She served as the command ship for amphibious operations westward along the New Guinea Coast until 13 October 1944. On that day, Blue Ridge left Hollandia (currently known as Jayapura) as the flagship of Rear Admiral Barbey's Northern Attack Force bound for the liberation of the Philippine Islands.

On the night of 19/20 October 1944 Blue Ridge and her formation stood through the swept part of Surigao Strait, between Homonhon and Dinagat Islands and entered San Pedro Bay, Leyte, Philippine Islands. She served as a command ship for troops storming the beaches at Leyte the morning of 20 October, and continued in support of the amphibious assault landings for six days. The ship's gunners drove off an enemy reconnaissance plan 23 October. The morning of 25 October, a torpedo-bomber made a run along her port side, coming in from her port quarter, and was shot down by her forward 40 mm gunners. That afternoon, the ship fired on 11 enemy planes of various types attacking the transport area.

The morning of 26 October 1944, Blue Ridge helped fight off five enemy bombers that attacked her formation. That afternoon she helped drive away three more enemy bombers. Several bombs fell in the vicinity during this action, but only one exploded close enough to shake the command ship. As she kept watch off the Leyte beaches, the three-pronged attack of the Japanese Fleet met disaster in the Battle of Surigao Strait, the Battle off Samar and the Battle of Cape Engano. She stood out of San Pedro Bay in the night of 26 October 1944 to stage at ports of New Guinea in preparation for the liberation landings to be made at Lingayen. She remained the flagship of Vice Admiral Barbey who was designated commander of the San Fabian Attack Force 78. Besides Admiral Barbey and his staff, she embarked Major General Innis P. Swift, commanding the I Army Corps, and Major General Leonard F. Wing, commanding the 43rd Infantry Division, together with their personal staffs.

Blue Ridge led the San Fabian Attack Force from Aitape, New Guinea on 28 December 1944. An aerial snooper was driven off by gunfire on 2 January 1945 and covering escort carrier aircraft shot down a bomber twenty miles out from her formation the following day. The night of 4 January 1945 the command ship followed a covering group of cruisers and destroyers through Surigao Strait to enter the Mindanao Sea. On the afternoon of 5 January an enemy submarine fired on the covering group, ten miles ahead, and was forced to surface and rammed by destroyer Dashiell. Enemy planes attacked the formation 7 January; two being shot down by pilots of the Combat Air Patrol, and three fell victims to combined anti-aircraft fire of the formation. That night four destroyers sank a Japanese destroyer eleven miles to the east of Blue Ridge. The command ship helped repel six enemy planes on 8 January 1945 and entered Lingayen Gulf before daybreak of 9 January. Troops stormed ashore that morning, some two hours after a single-engine enemy aircraft sneaked through cover of night, strafed to a point forward of the bow, barely missed the bridge, then overshot and dropped bombs about 500 yards off her port bow. The ship was not damaged and suffered no casualties. During the initial landings, three air attacks came close enough to be a threat to Blue Ridge, but veered off the in the face of heavy anti-suicide swimmers and small fast suicide boats. To combat this threat, a patrol boat was kept circling Blue Ridge and all shipboard security patrols were strengthened.

**Photo of LST-470 (tank landing ship)
**LST-470 Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons
LST-470 Ribbons
Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Navy Unit Commendation; American Campaign Medal
Bottom Row: Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (8); WWII Victory Medal; Philippine Liberation Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns of LST-470
Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
Eastern New Guinea operation
Lae occupation, September 1943
Saidor occupation, January 1944
Leyte operation
Leyte landings, October and November 1944
Bismarck Archipelago operation
Cape Gloucester, New Britain, December 1943
Admiralty Islands landings, March 1944
Luzon operation
Lingayen Gulf landings, January 1945
Hollandia operation, April 1944 Consolidation and capture of Southern Philippines
Palawan Island landings, February and March 1945
Mindanao Island landings, April 1945
Western New Guinea operation
Biak Island operation, May and June 1944
Cape Sansapor operation, July and August 1944
Morotai landings, September 1944
Borneo operation
Balikpapan operation, June and July 1945
LST - 470 was laid down on 26 October 1942 at Vancouver, Wash., by Kaiser, Inc.; launched on 30 November 1942; and commissioned on 9 March 1943, Lt. Richard McMahon, USNR, in command. During World War 11, LST-470 was assigned to the Asiatic- Pacific theater and participated in the following operations: Eastern New Guinea operation: (a) Lae occupation-September 1943 (b) Saidor occupation-January 1944 Bismarck Archipelago operation: (a) Cape Gloucester, New Britain-December 1943 (b) Admiralty Islands landing-March 1944 Hollandia operation-April 1944 Western New Guinea operations: (a) Biak Island operation-May and June 1944 (b) Cape Sansapor operation-July and August 1944 (c) Morotai landings-September 1944 Leyte landings-October and November 1944 Lingayen Gulf landing-January 1945 Consolidation of the southern Philippines: (a) Palawan Island landings February and March 1945 (b) Mindanao Island landings-April 1945 Balikpapan operation-June and July 1945 Following the war, LST-470 returned to the United States and was decommissioned on 4 March 1946 and struck from the Navy list on 5 June that same year. On 4 November 1947, the tank landing ship was sold to Dulien Steel Products, Inc., Seattle, Wash., and subsequently scrapped. LST-470 earned eight battle stars and the Navy Unit Commendation for World War II service.
***Photo of LST-927 (tank landing ship)
During World War II, LST-927 was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific theater and participated in the Lingayen Gulf landing in January 1945 and the Mindanao Island landings in March and April 1945. She returned to the United States and was decommissioned on 20 July 1946 and struck from the Navy list on 8 October that same year
George C. Caudill
b. 11/15/21
d. 10/21/10

Iowa Veterans Cemetery
Van Meter, Dallas County,
Iowa, USA
Plot: Section 5 Site 93
George Gray Caudill
Pharmacist's Mate
United States Navy
US Navy Seal

US Navy Insignia

George Gray Caudill, MD

Coming: Appropriate photo of George Caudill
in uniform

Pharmacists Mate 1st Class

US Navy; 7th Fleet

List of appropriate medals coming:

(1) Information was obtained from the Records on Military Personnel Who Died, were Missing in Action, or Prisoners of War as a result of the Vietnam War. This document can be found online at the National Archives and Records Administration at

(2) The comprehensive list of names from North High's 1893-2018 graduation classes are from Claradell Shedd's North Des Moines High School website. The names of North High School graduates can be found online at: George Gray Caudill's 1940 class page is:
Died October 20, 2010.
Music: "Anchors Aweigh"
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