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2LT John Leroy Dains

2LT John Leroy Dains

Birth
Mount Olive, Macoupin County, Illinois, USA
Death 7 Dec 1941 (aged 21)
Wheeler Field, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA
Burial Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA
Plot N, 1171
Memorial ID 3772715 · View Source
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A pilot with the 47th Pursuit Squadron, 2nd Lt. John L. Dains was one of the first pilots to take to the air to defend Hawaii on the date of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He is one of the pilots who actually did what you see in the movies about Pearl Harbor: Got into a car with buddies and raced to the field where only a few airplanes were ready, to get into the air to fight. New research strongly suggests he shot down the first Japanese fighter that day. Flying an older airplane on his final mission of the day, he was misidentified by U.S. gunners on the ground and shot down while trying to land his airplane. An aggressive and talented pilot whose loss was a personal tragedy for his family and a blow to the nation and the military as a whole, he was the first U.S. combatant pilot casualty of World War II and the first such "friendly fire" casualty of the war.

Other pilots who took to the air that day included Philip Rasmussen, Harry Brown, Ken Taylor, George Welch and Malcolm "Mike" Moore.

Bio by: John Andrew Prime


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  • Maintained by: John Andrew Prime
  • Originally Created by: US Veterans Affairs Office
  • Added: 4 Mar 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 3772715
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for 2LT John Leroy Dains (28 Jul 1920–7 Dec 1941), Find A Grave Memorial no. 3772715, citing National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA ; Maintained by John Andrew Prime (contributor 46621252) .