John J. Van Buren
John James Van Buren
|Born||July 20, 1915|
|Died||June 4, 1942 (aged 26)|
Pacific Ocean, near Midway Atoll
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/||United States Naval Reserve|
|Years of service||1938–1942|
|Rank||Lieutenant, junior grade|
|Unit||Bombing Squadron 6|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
*1942 raid on Marshall Islands
*Battle of Midway
|Awards||Navy Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross|
John James Van Buren was born in Mukwonago, Wisconsin, on July 20, 1915. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on March 24, 1938 and was appointed Aviation Cadet in the United States Naval Reserve on August 3, 1938. Upon completion of flight training, he was commissioned as an ensign on September 1, 1939 and assigned to Bombing Squadron 6 on board the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6).
During World War II, Van Buren was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross on March 11, 1942 for heroic conduct in aerial combat during operations against the Japanese in the Marshall Islands when the formation he was flying in was attacked by Japanese fighters. Through skillful handling of his Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bomber and excellent marksmanship, he shot down one of the attacking planes. Upon again being attacked by an enemy fighter, he maneuvered his plane to permit his rear seat gunner to shoot down this attacker before landing his bullet-riddled plane on Enterprise.
Operating off of Enterprise with Bombing Squadron 6 during the Battle of Midway on June 4, 1942, Van Buren defied extreme danger from concentrated Japanese antiaircraft fire and fierce fighter opposition to take part in the initial dive-bombing attack against Japanese naval units. Van Buren's plane did not return from this action and was listed as presumed dead. Lieutenant, junior grade Van Buren received the Navy Cross for his bravery at Midway.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
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