JEP C. JONSON, LT, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Jep Jonson '38

Date of birth: November 28, 1914

Date of death: June 15, 1942

Age: 27

Lucky Bag

From the 1938 Lucky Bag:

Loss

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.

Career

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
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant

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.

Navy Directories & Officer Registers

The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.

The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.

The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.

July 1938

Ensign, USS Houston

Others at this command: LT Louis LeHardy '26, LTjg George Davis, Jr. '35, ENS Richard Meyers '36, and ENS William Leedy '38.

January 1939

Ensign, USS Houston

Others at this command: LTjg George Davis, Jr. '35, ENS Richard Meyers '36, and ENS William Leedy '38.

October 1939

Ensign, USS Hull

Others at this command: LT Thomas Oberrender, Jr. '27.

June 1940

Ensign, USS Hull

November 1940

Ensign, under instruction, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida

Others at this command: LCDR George Grove '15, CDR William Sample '19, LT Finley Hall '29, LT John Yoho '29, LT William Pennewill '29, LT Lance Massey '30, LT Albert Major, Jr. '32, LT Daniel Gothie '32, LT Dewitt Shumway '32, LT George Bellinger '32, LT John Spiers '32, LT Martin Koivisto '32, ENS Frank Peterson '33, LTjg John Phillips, Jr. '33, LTjg Charles Ware '34, LTjg Charles Brewer '34, CAPT Floyd Parks '34, LTjg Frank Whitaker '34, LTjg George Nicol '34, LTjg Philip Torrey, Jr. '34, LTjg Walker Ethridge '34, LTjg Allan Edmands '35, LTjg John Powers '35, LTjg Richard Stephenson '35, LTjg Victor Gadrow '35, LTjg Porter Maxwell '36, LTjg Roy Krogh '36, LTjg Frank Henderson, Jr. '37, LTjg John Thomas '37, LTjg John Boal '37, LTjg Richard Hughes '37, ENS Alphonse Minvielle '38, ENS Carl Holmstrom '38, ENS Charles Anderson '38, ENS Charles King '38, ENS Charles Reimann '38, ENS Curtis Howard '38, ENS Donald Smith '38, 2LT Douglas Keeler '38, ENS Edmundo Gandia '38, ENS Eric Allen, Jr. '38, ENS Frank Quady '38, ENS Frank Case, Jr. '38, ENS Harry Bass '38, ENS Harry Howell '38, ENS Howard Clark '38, ENS Howard Fischer '38, ENS James Ginn '38, 2LT James Owens '38, ENS John Kelley '38, ENS John Erickson '38, 2LT John Maclaughlin, Jr. '38, ENS John Eversole '38, ENS Leonard Thornhill '38, ENS Marion Dufilho '38, ENS Osborne Wiseman '38, ENS Oswald Zink '38, ENS Richard Crommelin '38, ENS Robert Seibels, Jr. '38, ENS Roy Green, Jr. '38, ENS Roy Hale, Jr. '38, ENS William Brady '38, ENS William Tate, Jr. '38, and ENS William Lamberson '38.

April 1941

Ensign, Patrol Squadron (VP) 41, Seattle, Washington

Others at this command: LT Eugene Davis '27, LT J. C. Riggs, Jr. '28, and ENS Charles Reimann '38.


Class of 1938

Jep is one of 71 members of the Class of 1938 on Virtual Memorial Hall.