From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

John Downing '35

Date of birth: August 20, 1913

Date of death: November 13, 1942

Age: 29

Lucky Bag

From the 1935 Lucky Bag:


John was lost when USS Barton (DD 599) was sunk during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal on November 13, 1942. The wartime service of Barton and her officers and crew are detailed in this wonderful history.

His wife was listed as next of kin.

Navy and Marine Corps Medal

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy and Marine Corps Medal (Posthumously) to Lieutenant John G. Downing (NSN: 0-75099), United States Navy, for heroic conduct at the risk of life not involving conflict with an armed enemy in volunteering to organize two boats from the warship to which he was attached, to remove personnel from a wrecked plane, stranded deep inshore of the edge of a reef. Fighting a high wind and imperiled by treacherous swells breaking against jagged rocks, he personally directed operations which resulted in the successful rescue of 17 officers and men without injury to either survivors of the aircraft or members of the boat crew.

General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 316 (July 1943)
Action Date: 1942
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant

Class of 1935

John is one of 56 members of the Class of 1935 on Virtual Memorial Hall.