On May 4, 1942, “Fullie” led the FRUPAC Radio Intelligence Unit (RIU) on the aircraft carrier USS LEXINGTON (CV 2), nicknamed “Lady Lex,” during the Battle of the Coral Sea.
On the last day of the Battle of the Coral Sea, LEXINGTON was crippled and scuttled on May 8, 1942. There were 216 Sailors killed and 2,735 evacuated.
Fullie and his team would escape injury when the LEXINGTON was attacked and the ship had to be abandoned. Two months later at the Battle of Midway he would also be leading the RUI team on the USS YORKTOWN (CV 5) and would be among the last to leave the burning YORKTOWN with ADM Fletcher.
In March 2018 the wreck of LEXINGTON was located by an expedition led by Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen. They discovered the ship about 430 nautical miles (800 km) off the northeastern coast of Australia in the Coral Sea.
Lexington received two battle stars for her World War II service. She was officially struck from the naval register on June 24, 1942.
Photo credit – NCVA