Rank and organization:   Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy.
Birth:   29 January
1908, Aberdeen, Wash.
Appointed from:   Nevada.
Citation:   For conspicuous
gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the
call of duty as Squadron Commander of Bombing Squadron 102 and as Plane
Commander of a PB4Y-I Patrol Bomber operating against the enemy on Japanese-held
Greenwich Island during the battle of the Solomon Islands, 6 July 1943.
Fully aware of the limited chance of surviving an urgent mission, voluntarily
undertaken to prevent a surprise Japanese attack against our forces, Lt.
Comdr. Van Voorhis took off in total darkness on a perilous 700-mile flight
without escort or support. Successful in reaching his objective despite
treacherous and varying winds, low visibility and difficult terrain, he
fought a lone but relentless battle under fierce antiaircraft fire and
overwhelming aerial opposition. Forced lower and lower by pursuing planes,
he coolly persisted in his mission of destruction. Abandoning all chance
of a safe return he executed 6 bold ground-level attacks to demolish the
enemy's vital radio station, installations, antiaircraft guns and crews
with bombs and machinegun fire, and to destroy 1 fighter plane in the air
and 3 on the water. Caught in his own bomb blast, Lt. Comdr. Van Voorhis
crashed into the lagoon off the beach, sacrificing himself in a single-handed
fight against almost insuperable odds, to make a distinctive contribution
to our continued offensive in driving the Japanese from the Solomons and,
by his superb daring, courage and resoluteness of purpose, enhanced the
finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life
for his country.
This data was extracted from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, U.S. Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients: 1863-1973 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1973)