JOHN E. DUNN, LCDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

John Dunn '39

Date of birth: October 7, 1915

Date of death: December 13, 1946

Age: 31

Lucky Bag

From the 1939 Lucky Bag:


Loss

John was lost in a training flight from Norfolk, VA, on December 13, 1946.

From "Gold Star Wives of America:"

Marie Deaton (Dunn) Liechty, was born in Shreveport, LA April 22, 1922. She married John Edward Dunn, Oct 7, 1915. They met in Miami, FL spring of 1946. Marie was a stewardess with National Airlines. Cmdr. Dunn was in Naval flight training, Miami, FL. They were married Nov. 7, 1946, Naval Air Station Chapel, in Norfolk, VA.

(Note: there is more in this book, but it makes claims unsupported by any other evidence: specifically, that John was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor and escaped captivity three times before serving in the French Underground.) His widow remarried another alumni.

Wartime Service

John was flying from USS Wasp (CV 17) when he made a navigation error and was forced to ditch in the sea off of Norway. He was captured by German forces and spent the remainder of the war in Germany.

Legion of Merit

POWs at Stalag Luft III Capt. Louis R. McKesson, 306BG; 1st Lt. Robert Ray Brunn, 91BG (back row, left to right). 2Lt Thomas E. "Eddie" Mulligan, 303BG/359BS; Lt(jg) John Dunn, first American POW in Stalag Luft III; Maj. Edward Wheeler; Lt(jg) John H. Palmer, VT-4 (front row, left to right). Photo taken February 10, 1944

From Hall of Valor:

SYNOPSIS: Lieutenant John E. Dunn (NSN: 0-82354), United States Navy, was awarded the Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States while a Prisoner of War in Germany. Lieutenant Dunn rendered outstanding service to the United States and to our prisoners of war from 14 April 1943 to 29 April 1945.

General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 345 (December 1945)
Action Date: April 14, 1943 - April 29, 1945
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant
Division: Prisoner of War (Bavaria)

Prisoner of War Medal

From Hall of Valor:

Lieutenant, Junior Grade John E. Dunn (NSN: 0-82354), United States Navy, was captured in and held as a Prisoner of War by the Germans until his release at the end of hostilities on 29 April 1945.

General Orders: NARA Database: Records of World War II Prisoners of War, created, 1942 - 1947
Action Date: April 14, 1942 - April 29, 1945
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Junior Grade
Division: Prisoner of War (Bavaria)

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.

October 1939

Ensign, USS Idaho

Others at this command: ENS Conde Raguet '38 and ENS William Hawthorne, Jr. '39.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Ralph Beacham '35 (Observation Squadron (VO) 3).

June 1940

Ensign, USS Idaho

Others at this command: ENS William Hawthorne, Jr. '39, ENS Donald Banker '40, ENS Robert Stimson '40, and ENS William Guice, Jr. '40.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Frederick Schrader '35 (Observation Squadron (VO) 3).

November 1940

Ensign, USS Idaho

Others at this command: ENS William Hawthorne, Jr. '39, ENS Donald Banker '40, ENS Robert Stimson '40, and ENS William Guice, Jr. '40.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Frederick Schrader '35 (Observation Squadron (VO) 3).


Class of 1939

John is one of 77 members of the Class of 1939 on Virtual Memorial Hall.