From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Donald Tripp '40

Date of birth: May 21, 1916

Date of death: October 12, 1944

Age: 28

Naval Academy Register

Donald Keith Tripp was admitted to the Naval Academy from Michigan on July 9, 1936 at age 20 years 2 months.

Lucky Bag

Donald Keith Tripp is listed on the page titled “And Some We Knew.”


Donald at United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, c1940.

From Find A Grave:

Lt. Tripp entered the USNA from Michigan and was attending the USNA at time of enlistment. Lt. Tripp was attached to Fighting Squadron NINETEEN, based aboard the USS LEXINGTON (CV-16). At 0555 on 12 Oct 1944 he took of from the USS Lexington in a F6F-5 airplane, Bureau number 58565 with LCDR Franklin E. Cook, Jr., USN as pilot. The purpose of the flight, of sixteen airplanes, was a fighter sweep mission over Formosa airfields. Between Kagi and Taichu, the planes were intercepted by enemy planes, and after the ensuing battle they went on to the Taichu airfield making strafing runs on the enemy. LCDR Cook's plane was last seen diving steeply on the Taichu Airfield at some 400 knots and a few seconds later a plane, believed to be his, was seen to crash on the field, bursting into flames.

He became naval aviator #7729 in 1941. His body was returned to the United States in 1948 and is interred in Hawaii.

Donald's wife was listed as next of kin; he was also survived by his father and two brothers.

Distinguished Flying Cross

From Hall of Valor:

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Lieutenant Donald Keith Tripp (NSN: 0-98400), United States Navy, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (Posthumously) for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as a Fighter Pilot embarked in U.S.S. LEXINGTON on 10 October 1944.

General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 348 (March 1946)
Action Date: October 10, 1944
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant
Company: Fighting Squadron
Division: U.S.S. Lexington

Related Articles

Franklin Cook, Jr. '39 was Donald's commanding officer was also lost in a separate action on the same flight.

Class of 1940

Donald is one of 91 members of the Class of 1940 on Virtual Memorial Hall.