Lee Yates was born on February 26, 1916, in Nashville, Tennessee. He earned his Bachelor's Degree from Tennessee State Teachers College before enlisting in the U.S. Navy Reserve on June 23, 1942, and he went on active duty in the Navy beginning July 27, 1942. After a year of enlisted service, Yates was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy on June 14, 1943, with date of rank from March 16, 1943. Ensign Yates attended his basic and advanced officer indoctrination training at Fort Schuyler, New York, from June to October 1943, and then attended Landing Craft School at Destroyer Base San Diego, California, from October 1943 to February 1944. His first assignment was as a Boat Officer with the Twelfth Naval District at San Francisco, California, from February to September 1944, followed by service with Underwater Demolition Team FOURTEEN (UDT-14) in the Pacific Theater from September 1944 until he was killed in action aboard the amphibious assault ship USS LCI(G)-449 (Landing Craft Infantry - Gunboat) during the pre-Invasion reconnaissance of Iwo Jima on February 17, 1945. LtJg Yates remains were never recovered from the ocean, but he has a cenotaph at the Nashville National Cemetery in Nashville, Tennessee. His wife Nancy died on January 2, 2013, and is buried near his cenotaph at Nashville National Cemetery.
The Sailor's Creed:
I am a United States Sailor.
I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and I will obey the orders of those appointed over me.
I represent the fighting spirit of the Navy and those who have gone before me to defend freedom and democracy around the world.
I proudly serve my country's Navy combat team with Honor, Courage and Commitment.
I am committed to excellence and the fair treatment of all.