From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

John Welch '23

Date of birth: July 15, 1901

Date of death: January 10, 1945

Age: 43

Lucky Bag

From the 1923 Lucky Bag:


John was lost when the Japanese "Hell Ship" he was aboard, Enoura Maru, was bombed on January 9, 1945 while docked at Takao.

He had earlier survived the bombing of the Oryoku Maru on December 15 in Subic Bay.

John was on Corregidor when that island surrendered; before then he was serving on the submarine tender USS Canopus (AS 9) before that ship was scuttled on April 10, 1942. He was mentioned in Part III of a column on Canopus in the November 1948 issue of Shipmate; he was the senior member of the "Naval Battalion" when it became part of the Fourth Marine Regiment.

His wife was listed as next of kin; he was also survived by a daughter.

It's unclear how John was only a Lieutenant. Perhaps he left the service for a time? (He appears in the 1924 and 1928 Registers.)

(Note: Some listings have his date of death in December 1944; believe it more likely that he died in January.)

Prisoner of War Medal

From Hall of Valor:

Lieutenant John L. Welch (NSN: 0-58274), United States Navy, was captured by the Japanese after the fall of Corregidor, Philippine Islands, on 6 May 1942, and was held as a Prisoner of War until his death while still in captivity.

General Orders: NARA Database: Records of World War II Prisoners of War, created, 1942 - 1947
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant

Class of 1923

John is one of 25 members of the Class of 1923 on Virtual Memorial Hall.