JEP C. JONSON, LT, USN
Jep Jonson '38
Date of birth: November 28, 1914
Date of death: June 15, 1942
From the 1938 Lucky Bag:
From VP Navy:
AK, ALEUTIANS, NAS DUTCH HARBOR, CARLISLE MTN., CARLISELE ISL'S, ALEUTIAN ISL'S Strike: Yes BUNO: 7298 Cause: Pilot was returning from patrol flight west of Dutch Harbor. He landed at sea to pick up a hospital patient from a Naval ship, then took off for base. While climbing through a fog layer, the radar was turned off in order to use power for transmitting take-off report to base. While still in the fog and due to navigational error and no radar, plane crashed into Carlisle Mountain. Damage:Demolished. Crew & pass:Pilot: Lt(jg). Jep C. Jonson/Killed, Rm2c. Edward "Ted" Harry Scroggins/Killed, Ens. Albert D. Peterson (died 8/7/43), Ens. James K. Morrill/Seriously inj, Amm2c. Samuel Olsen/Seriously inj, Amm3c. Dorsey F. Pribble (not in accident according to Adm.rep), Amm3c. Richard C. Hazard/Minor inj, Arm3c. Rolf H. Neilson/Minor inj, and Sea1c. Samuel D. Gladioni (hospital case).
The crash occurred on June 16, 1942. He is not listed in the overseas losses of Naval personnel for some reason, so unable to determine next of kin — though he seems to have been survived by his parents, two brothers, and a sister. Jep is buried in Kentucky.
From naval aviation historian Richard Leonard via email on February 9, 2018:
- NAS Pensacola attached for HTA flight training, 8/12/1940
- NAS Pensacola designated NA # 7197, 2/26/1941
- Date of rank LTJG from 1 Jul 1941 USN Register, 6/2/1941
- Date of rank LT from 1 Jul 1942 USN Register, 6/15/1942
- VP-41 PatWing4 NAS Dutch Harbor DFC KIFA, 6/16/1942
Distinguished Flying Cross
From Hall of Valor:
The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Jep C. Jonson, United States Navy, for heroism and extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight in contact with the enemy while serving as a Pilot with Patrol Wing FOUR in the Territory of Alaska during the Aleutian Islands Campaign, 1 - 15 June 1942. In addition to flying numerous night patrols under extremely hazardous weather conditions, he, with utter disregard for his own personal safety, participated in bombing attacks launched on Japanese vessels in Kiska Harbor in the face of tremendous anti-aircraft fire and fierce aerial opposition. With utter disregard for his own personal safety, he carried on tirelessly and courageously until he was killed in a crash on the fog-shrouded mountainside of an isolated Aleutian Island. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 313 (April 1943)
Action Date: June 1942
Memorial Hall Error
Jep was promoted to Lieutenant on June 15, 1942; he is listed in Memorial Hall as a LT(jg).
Jep is not listed on the killed in action panel in the front of Memorial Hall. While not an obvious error, inclusion on the panel for crashes like this—which appears to be incidental to a combat flight—has been inconsistent across WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.