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Bunyan Randolph Cooner, born at Columbia, South Carolina, 27 February 1914, enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve 12 June 1939. After flight training, he was commissioned ensign 3 September 1941 and served with Bombing Squadron 3 in USS Saratoga (CV-3).

Participated in Battle of Midway[]

He won the Navy Cross for gallant service in the Battle of Midway, participating in vigorous and repeated attacks against Japanese warships 4–6 June 1942.

Awarded the Navy Cross[]

Ensign Cooner was then killed in a plane crash during flight operations out of NAS Pearl Harbor on 16 June 1942.


The USS Cooner (DE-172), launched 25 July 1943 by Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Kearny, New Jersey, sponsored by Mrs. I. Cooner; and commissioned 21 August 1943, was so named in Cooner’s honor.


This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

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