DAMON M. CUMMINGS, LCDR, USN
Damon Cummings '31
Date of birth: unknown
Date of death: November 13, 1942
From the 1931 Lucky Bag:
Damon was lost when USS San Francisco (CA 38) was severely damaged during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal on November 13, 1942. He was on the staff of the Commander, South Pacific Force. (This was different from the embarked staff of Daniel Callaghan '11, who was also lost in this action.)
His wife was listed as next of kin.
Damon Morris Cummings was born on January 30, 1910 in Belvidere, Illinois, the son of then-Ensign (later Captain) Damon Earhart Cummings (1885–1969) and Ennis Frances Morris. He graduated in 1927 from St. Albans School in Washington, D.C., and from the United States Naval Academy on June 4, 1931.
He served in heavy cruiser USS Northampton (CA-26) and destroyer USS Monaghan (DD-354) and had staff duty at Naval Submarine Base New London at New London, Connecticut, and with Destroyer Squadron 3 (DesRon 3).
While serving on the staff of Vice Admiral William F. Halsey—the Commander, South Pacific Force (COMSOPAC) -- Lieutenant Commander Cummings was killed in action on board heavy cruiser San Francisco (CA-38) on the night of 12–13 November 1942 during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal.
From Hall of Valor:
The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Commander Damon Morris Cummings (NSN: 0-70295), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession on the Staff of the Commander, South Pacific Force, serving on board the Heavy Cruiser U.S.S. SAN FRANCISCO (CA-38), during an engagement with Japanese naval forces near Savo Island on the night of 12 - 13 November, 1942. On this occasion the force to which Lieutenant Commander Cummings was attached engaged at close quarters and defeated a superior enemy force, inflicting heavy damage upon them and preventing the accomplishment of their intended mission. This daring and intrepid attack, brilliantly executed, led to a great victory for his country's forces. By his indomitable fighting spirit, expert seamanship, and gallant devotion to duty, Lieutenant Commander Cummings contributed largely to the success of the battle and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 312 (March 1943)
Action Date: November 12 - 13, 1942
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Company: Staff of the Commander
Regiment: South Pacific Force
Division: U.S.S. San Francisco (CA-38)
USS Damon M. Cummings (DE 643) was named for Damon; the ship was sponsored by his widow.