Richard Nixon was born on January 9, 1913, in Yorba Linda, California. He graduated from Duke University School of Law in 1937 and practiced law in La Mirada, California, until the start of World War II. In January 1942 he became an attorney for the Office of Emergency Management in Washington, D.C., and then accepted an appointment as a commissioned line officer in the U.S. Navy on June 15, 1942. He completed the aviation indoctrination training course at NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island, in October 1942, and then served as Aide to the Executive Officer at the Naval Reserve Aviation Base in Ottumwa, Iowa, until May 1943. Nixon then served as Officer in Charge of the South Pacific Combat Air Transport Command at Guadalcanal and later at Green Island, where he supervised C-47 cargo operations until June 1944. He next served with Fleet Air Wing EIGHT from August to December 1944, and then at the Bureau of Aeronautics from December 1944 until he left active duty and joined the U.S. Naval Reserve on March 10, 1946. During his time in the reserves, Nixon served in the Judge Advocate General's Corps and retired from the Naval Reserve as a Commander on June 1, 1966. Richard Nixon entered politics in November 1946, when he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from California's 12th congressional district, serving from January 1947 to December 1950. He was a U.S. Senator from California from December 1950 to January 1953, and then served as Vice President of the United States under President Dwight D. Eisenhower from January 20, 1953 to January 20, 1961. Richard Nixon was elected the 37th President of the United States in November 1968, and he served from January 20, 1969 until his resignation on August 9, 1974. During this time, he successfully negotiated a ceasefire with North Vietnam, which ended America's involvement in the Vietnam War. Most Vietnam POWs agree that they are free today because Richard Nixon used strategic bombers against North Vietnamese targets in December 1972, which forced the North Vietnamese to sign a peace treaty in early 1973. He died on April 22, 1994, and was buried next to his wife Pat at the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California.
His Letter of Commendation Citation (later upgraded to the Navy Commendation Medal) reads:
For meritorious and efficient performance of duty as Officer-in-Charge of the South Pacific Combat Air Transport Command at Bougainville and later at Green Islands from January 1 to June 16, 1944. During this period, Lieutenant Nixon displayed sound judgment and initiative in organizing the South Pacific Combat Air Transport Command activities at both Bougainville and Green Islands. He established the efficient liaison which made possible the immediate supply by air of vital material and key personnel, and the prompt evacuation of battle casualties from these stations to rear areas. His able leadership, tireless efforts and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.