Story Number: NNS140311-10Release Date: 3/11/2014 12:44:00 PM
By Lt. j.g. Jeff Brauser, USS Russell Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The officers and crew of the guided missile destroyer USS Russell (DDG 59) remembered the life of Dr. Barry Friedman, a World War II veteran, author and special friend of the crew during a special memorial service held on board the ship, March 9.
Receiving a commission in the Navy Reserve in June 1941, Friedman was called to active duty as the medical officer aboard USS Russell (DD 414) in the Pacific Theater during World War II and kept close ties with the Navy until his passing.
During his service on board DD 414 during World War II, Friedman saw action during campaigns in the Aleutian Islands, the Gilbert and Marshall Island invasions, New Guinea, and Leyte and Lingayen Gulf actions in the Philippines and Okinawa.
After leaving the Navy, Friedman practiced medicine as an orthopedic surgeon for more than 40 years and authored 12 books. His most recently published book "Survivor" chronicles his experiences as the medical officer on board DD 414 during World War II.
During the eulogy, Friedman's children expressed what they described as their father's proudest moments while serving aboard DD 414. Coming to the aid of Sailors in need after the sinking of USS Lexington (CV 2) and USS Yorktown, as well as many other ships, the crew of DD 414 would save the lives of more than 1,200 Sailors during the war.
Friedman's ties to the crew of the current USS Russell began when the ship arrived in San Diego Jan. 9, 2013 after having been previously homeported at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii.
"It's a privilege to be able to honor a man as special as Dr. Friedman," said Cmdr. James Harney, Russell's commanding officer. "When we learned of his passing, we started working immediately to put together a memorial to honor such a great man, who gave so much to the world, and who chose to spend his later years becoming part of our family."
The crew of Russell said they knew Friedman well and he had last joined the crew as the guest of honor during the ship's change of command ceremony Jan. 24.
"He was an incredible man, part of the Greatest Generation," said Master-at-Arms 1st Class Joseph Cook. "This day, while somber, reminds you why we do this, to be part of something bigger than yourself that will span generations."
Following the memorial serve there was a small reception in the wardroom where guests shared stories of Friedman.
Russell is currently undergoing a 12-month, $70 million Extended Dry Dock Selective Restrictive Availability at the BAE Shipyard in San Diego. Russell is assigned as part of Destroyer Squadron 1.
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