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Birthdate & Date of Loss

Date of birth: unknown
Date of death: November 25, 2044
Age: unknown

Lucky Bag

1943 Wheeler LB.jpg

From the 1943 Lucky Bag:


Fort Collins, Colorado

Perhaps by coincidence, perhaps by fate, or perhaps by a limitless ambition coupled with a fiery determination, Jay was lured to the Naval Academy hoping to find a daring vocation that could offer even more risk, excitement, and variety than his motorcycle and the winding roads over the Colorado mountains could offer. Jay, in his calm and modest way, refused to comment. We admired Jay for his frankness and truthful devotion to his friends. We can be sure of one thing—whatever field he chooses, his inventive interest in science and his vigorous desire to attain and maintain a good physique will make him a fine officer.

The Class of 1943 was graduated in June 1942 due to World War II. The entirety of 2nd class (junior) year was removed from the curriculum.


John was lost when a Japanese kamikaze aircraft struck his position aboard USS Cabot (CVL 28) on November 25, 1944. Sixty-two officers and men were killed or wounded in the attack.

His wife was listed as next of kin.

Silver Star

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Lieutenant John Thomas Wheeler (NSN: 0-165349), United States Navy, for gallantry in action against the enemy while serving as Control Officer of an anti-aircraft gun aboard the Light Aircraft Carrier U.S.S. CABOT (CVL-28), on 25 November 1944, off the coast of the Philippines. Lieutenant Wheeler directed the fire from his guns in the face of a crash-diving enemy aircraft approaching directly at him. With utter disregard of his personal safety he performed coolly and efficiently until this aircraft actually struck his gun platform. He is reported as Missing in Action. This courageous action was instrumental in sufficiently damaging the Japanese aircraft so that it deflected from striking a vital portion of this vessel. His courage and skill were at all times in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Commander 2d Carrier Task Force Pacific: Serial 01410 (February 26, 145)
Action Date: 25-Nov-44
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant
Company: Control Officer
Division: U.S.S. Cabot (CVL-28)

Class Navigation

Class of 1943
John is one of 77 members of the Class of 1943 in Memorial Hall.
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