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Rico Botta


Legion of Merit

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The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Legion of Merit to Captain Rico Botta, United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States as the Assembly and Repair Officer, U.S. Naval Air Station, San Diego, California from 31 December 1942 to the termination of hostilities in August 1945. Captain Botta, by his superior and outstanding technical knowledge and skill, his great administrative ability and his constant devotion to duty enabled this Department to meet the ever increasing demands of the Fleet Air commands for combat aircraft of the latest type and with the latest combat-proved changes installed. During this period, the Assembly and Repair Department, headed by Captain Botta, increased its total personnel of 5,300 to nearly 11,000, and the total yearly output of reconditioned and worked-over aircraft increased from 6,940 in 1943 to a peak of 11,758 in 1944, and 6,887 in the first 10 months of 1945. In addition to accomplishing this great workload, which involved the design and construction of numerous new tools and industrial processes, this Department successfully undertook and accomplished many emergency projects such as construction and manufacturing a large quantity of special appliances for aerial torpedoes in record time, thus making a material contribution to the successful employment of these torpedoes against the Japanese fleet in the battles of the Philippine Seas. Captain Botta's outstanding zeal and professional knowledge and ability, and his tireless efforts as reflected in the record of the Assembly and Repair Department of the Naval Air Station, San Diego, throughout the war, contributed materially to the success of the combatant naval air units in action against the enemy. His conduct and actions throughout have been in accordance with the best traditions of the Naval Service.

Action Date: December 31, 1942 - August 1945

Service: Navy

Rank: Captain