From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall
John Lewis '40

Date of birth: 1916

Date of death: [[Chronological losses#Error: Invalid time.|unknown]]

Age: unknown

Naval Academy Register

John Bagley Lewis was admitted to the Naval Academy from Washington on June 15, 1936 at age 19 years 9 months. (Birthday ≅ September 1916.)

He resigned from the Naval Academy on February 18, 1937; he was “deficient in studies, first term's work. Recommended to be dropped. Permitted to resign.” The Lucky Bag page titled “And Some We Knew” includes him.

Life & Loss

We have been unable to determine what John did following his resignation from the Naval Academy, what his occupation was during the war years. We can state with certainty, however, that the John B. Lewis listed with the Class of 1940 and on the killed in action panel in the front of Memorial Hall was not killed in Saipan on June 15, 1944.

That John B. Lewis was born in 1909 and was living in Akron, Ohio, when he joined the Naval Reserve in 1942. He attended Akron University. None of his survivors — including most notably his mother — share names with the known relations of John Bagley Lewis '40, from Roslyn, Washington, born 1917. There is no evidence that John Bagley Lewis '40 ever resumed his naval service; he is not listed in the regular or reserve officers' register at any point in the war period.

Other research

There are only two mentions of a John B. Lewis as a casualty in World War II:

LEWIS, John B, LT, 178664, Second Marine Division, Saipan capture, June 15, 1944, (CasCode121) killed in combat, dd June 15, 1944 (bp1)

A second mention is with other Navy personnel under the Second Marine Division section, but there is no detail or other information. Many of the names are Pharmacist's Mates — Corpsmen, who were in each platoon of Marines. (Note: The heading may be misleading. Another name not far from John's is that of Robert Isely '33, who was commanding officer of a Torpedo Squadron engaged in close air support over Saipan.)

Note that neither casualty listing has a middle name. The first listing gives his "file identification," 178664, which is listed on page 392 of the Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Naval Reserve of 1944. This John B. Lewis' year of birth is given as 1909; his "date of precedence" as October 1, 1943, and his "pay entry base" as July 28, 1942. His classification is "D-VS." There are no annotations in the "naval schools attended" column.

There is no listing in the ABMC Burials and Memorializations Database.

John Bagley Lewis '40

From the September 1946 issue of Shipmate: "LEWIS, JOHN BAGLY [sic], Lieutenant DV(S), USNR. Died 15 June 1944. Saipan. Pacific area. Enemy action."

It appears he was married in 1940. His family was from Roslyn, Kittitas County, Washington.

He was son of John "Jack" R. Lewis and Margaret Evelyn Bagley, both from Kittitas county. They were married 8/24/1915.

His sister, Margaret Helen Lewis Fitterer, born February 18, 1918 died 1993. Her obituary is here. She married Louis George Fitterer July 15, 1940. George's Find A Grave entry.

John's maternal aunts: Rose (Bagley) Grimm, married 5/1/1918, died 1945; and Nell Bagley, later married name Albers.

Memorial Hall Error

The John B. Lewis listed in Memorial Hall is a case of mistaken identity. He was not lost in combat or any operational incident.

Class of 1940

John is one of 91 members of the Class of 1940 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of alumni in Memorial Hall.