CTO1 Allan Graves
February 10, 1943 – June 8, 1967
Corry Station: “A Blue-jacket of the First Watch” is how Captain William L. McGonagle, U. S. Navy, described Petty Officer Curtis Allan Graves during the solemn dedication of Graves Hall held Saturday, November 14, 1970.
The newly constructed’ barracks featuring the motel concept was dedicated in memory of First Class Communications Technician Graves who died on June 8, 1967 as a result of drowning when his ship the USS Liberty (AGTR-5) was accidently attacked by Israeli Forces in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.
Captain McGonagle, Petty Officer Graves’ last Commanding Officer, was at the helm of the Liberty on that fateful day and was subsequently awarded the Congressional Medal for his actions.
Also on hand for the dedication was Petty Officer Graves’ mother, Mrs. Florance Graves, who came from Fort Lauderdale for the ceremony in her son’s honor. Mrs. Graves spoke at the dedication and expressed her hope that “GOD bless each and every person that enters Graves Hall.”
Communications Technician First Class Curtis Allan Graves was born on February 10, 1943 in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan. He attended Clark Elementary School in Detroit, Michigan.
In 1952, the Graves family moved to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. where Petty Officer Graves received his high school diploma from Fort Lauderdale High School in June 1961.
He entered the Navy in August 1961 and received recruit training at Great Lakes, Illinois.
After completing recruit training, Petty Officer Graves reported to the Naval Communications Training Center, as a student in the Communications Technician “0” Branch school. He graduated in December 1962, finishing second in his class with a final average of 96.44. With school behind him Petty Officer Graves was transferred to the Naval Security Station, Washington, D.C. for duty.
In November 1965 Petty Officer Graves reenlisted and was ordered to the Naval Security Group Activity, Taepei, Taiwan for two years of duty. While serving in Taipei, he received a, Letter of Appreciation from the Chief, National Security Agency Pacific Representative, Taiwan.
On April 13, 1967, Petty Officer Graves reported on board USS Liberty (AGTR-5). Less then two months later on June 8, 1967, CTO1 Curtis Allan Graves died when the Liberty was attacked in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.
The attack which began shortly after noon by jet aircraft and torpedo boats caused major topside damage from strafing aircraft; serious damage amidships from a direct torpedo hit and heavy casualties to the crew.
Although two-thirds of the crew were killed or wounded, those surviving displayed outstanding professionalism, undaunted spirit and extraordinary heroism in their efforts to save the ship. Petty Officer Graves, manning his General Quarters station, was responsible for the outstanding manner in which his watch section performed their duties during the attack.
Captain G. P. McGinnis who took part in the early planning stage of the USS Liberty before her construction, said of the dedication, “It is fitting that we dedicate in his memory this facility that will house senior military members of the Naval Communications Training Center, by this’, dedication his sacrifice shall not be forgotten.
Graves Hall is the third in a series of Bachelor Enlisted Quarters to be completed aboard the Naval Communications Training Center. The building is a three story brick structure with central heating and air conditioning. The facility will house 250 persons in four-man rooms, each with built-in closets. Each level has four television lounges.
10 February 2021 at 16:45
God rest his soul. I too was an “O” brancher when I served, and was active duty when the Liberty was DELIBERATELY (not accidentally as the article states) attacked by Israeli Forces. I always remembered the multitude of messages sent from NSA laying out the facts of the attack shortly after it occurred. The most conclusive was that 45 minutes prior to the attack, an intercepted message from an Israeli plane identified the Liberty, and gave it’s position. Finally, 8 June 1997: Adm. Thomas H. Moorer, appointed Chief of Naval Operations shortly after the attack on the Liberty, tells a reunion of survivors: “I have to conclude that it was Israel’s intent to sink the Liberty and leave as few survivors as possible. Israel knew perfectly well that the ship was American.”
10 February 2021 at 20:56
I would really like to see a remembrance article re: Cpl. Jack Raper; KIA on USS Liberty. He was a great guy.
10 February 2021 at 22:33
My Heart and Prayers go out to Allan Graves, his loved ones and the survivors of the intentional and horrific attack on the U.S.S. Liberty. My brother David was also killed on the U.S.S. Liberty. If you have not seen the Docu-Series called “Sacrificing Liberty” (4 hours long). which was recently released, I suggest everyone view and see the proof of the intentional attack on the Liberty and that then President Johnson knew of this attack and did nothing to stop it. Johnson not only condoned the attack, but also covered it up.
Again Allan Graves, may God keep you close to him.
11 February 2021 at 02:49
You were so right about Johnson covering it up. Another thing that really got me was that Israel gave $16 million dollars in “reparation”. But that was only after they got a mysterious $16 million grant to their military from the United States. Israel had no intention of offering any compensation.
10 February 2021 at 23:36
Allan was one of my guys. I am alive today by the grace of God. Not responding for me. This great article honoring him would be so much more accurate if it did not refer throughout to the Israeli attack as “accidental!”. The attack was no accident nor was it a mistake. They overflew us with surveillance a/c multiple times the day before the attack. Explains how the unmarked jets hit strategic targets on their first until their last attack runs. The Israeli story is total bull! Our own State Dept’s reaction was “we accept your apology but not the reason!”
CTC Joseph C Lentini
Survivor 8 June 1967
11 February 2021 at 07:07
I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat it, I lost three of my friends when Israel intentionally attacked the USS LIBERTY (AGTR5). I was fortunate to be invited to a USS LIBERTY survivors reunion in Pensacola Beach many years ago
where I met many more of her crew. It is strongly appreciated that you remember the deceased on their birthdays
and I’m sure many surviving friends and relatives appreciate the recognition these heroic sailors deserve. May they
all REST IN PEACE in the hands of GOD.