Ens John Cady Lough

Ens John Cady Lough

Geneseo, Henry County, Illinois, USA
Death 4 Jun 1942 (aged 26)
At Sea
Cenotaph Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA

* A structure erected in honor of someone whose remains lie elsewhere.

Plot Courts of the Missing
Memorial ID 56123717 · View Source
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George Walter Lough and Ruth Gertrude Cady were married about 1915. They were the parents of at least three children; John Cady, Ruth Genevieve and Rose Ann Lough. John was a premed student at Illinois Wesleyan University. He graduated in June 1940 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. He was a member of Phi Sigma Epsilon Fraternity and Alpha Epsilon Delta, a Medical Pre-professional Honor Society and the University Chorus.

The Pantagraph (Bloomington, Illinois) 30 Jan 1940, Tue – p. 3

Lough Wins Premedical Essay Award. Alpha Epsilon Delta Holds Annual Banquet.
John Lough, Illinois Wesleyan university senior, received the Alpha Epsilon Delta award for the best premedical essay in 1939 at the fraternity’s invitational banquet Monday night. Prof. Myron T. Townsend, sponsor of the honorary premedics organization, presented the award to Mr. Lough for his essay on “Sulfanilamide, “ which will be submitted to “Scalpel, “ the national magazine of the fraternity. Mr. Lough was one of the seven premedical students who recently toured Lincoln State School and Colony to study mental patients.
John enlisted in the US Navy (NSN: 411-38-15) as a Seaman 2c on 2 Dec 1940 in Robertson, MO. After completing his elimination flight training he was released to unactive duty and sent home to await further orders. He was honorably discharged on 01 Mar 1941 to accept an appointment as an Aviation Cadet which he accepted on the same day. After completing his intermediate flight training at NAS Pensacola and advanced squadron training at NAS Miami, he was designated a naval aviator (heavier-than-air). On 18 Aug 1941 he received a commission as an Ensign, AV(N), USNR. A short time later he was assigned to Scouting Squadron Six (VS-6) attached to the USS Enterprise (CV-6). On the morning of 4 Jun 1942 Ensign Lough and his gunner, RM2 Louis Dale Hansen, along with other attack aircraft of Enterprise's Air Group Six, as well as, planes from Air Groups from Hornet and Yorktown launched to intercept and attack a large Japanese Carrier force approaching Midway. After VS-6 made a successful attack on the Japanese carrier Kaga, Ens Lough and several other planes from his squadron joined up to return to Enterprise. Enroute home this group of five planes, including Ens Lough, were attacked by Japanese fighters. Although no American planes were shot down their evasive maneuvers used up precious fuel. After the attack the group split up as they attempted to find the Enterprise. Ens Lough, his plane very low on fuel, was never seen again. Ens Lough, and his gunner PO Hansen, were reported as missing in action. Ens. Lough was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross, the Purple Heart and the Presidential Unit Citation. On 5 Jun 1943 they were listed as "presumed dead."
Dixon Evening Telegraph (Dixon, Illinois) – 12 Nov 1942, Thu – p. 6
Navy Cross Awarded to Man From Geneseo
Washington, Nov. 12 – (AP)
Secretary Knox, it was announced today, has awarded the Navy cross to 16 aviators for heroism in action against the Japanese during the battle of Midway last June. Among the officers:
Lieutenant (JG) John James Van Buren, 27, son of Irvin C. Van Buren, Mukwonago, Wis. Lieutenant (JG) Norman Francis Vandivier, Franklin, Ind. Ensign John Cady Lough, 26, son of George W. Lough, Geneseo, Ill. All three were listed as missing in action.
Navy Cross Citation reads:
The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Ensign John Cady Lough (NSN: 0-99984), United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Scouting Plane of Scouting Squadron SIX (VS-6), attached to the U.S.S. ENTERPRISE (CV-6), during the "Air Battle of Midway," against enemy Japanese forces on 4 - 6 June 1942. Participating in a devastating assault against a Japanese invasion fleet, Ensign Lough, with fortitude and resolute devotion to duty, pressed home his attacks in the face of a formidable barrage of anti-aircraft fire and fierce fighter opposition. His gallant perseverance and utter disregard for his own personal safety were important contributing factors to the success achieved by our forces and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 309 (December 1942)
USS Enterprise Presidential Unit citation (1942)
For consistently outstanding performance and distinguished achievement during repeated action against enemy Japanese forces in the Pacific war area, 7 December 1941, to 15 November 1942. Participating in nearly every major carrier engagement in the first year of the war, the Enterprise and her air group, exclusive of far-flung destruction of hostile shore installations throughout the battle area, did sink or damage on her own a total of 35 Japanese vessels and shot down a total of 185 Japanese aircraft. Her aggressive spirit and superb combat efficiency are fitting tribute to the officers and men who so gallantly established her as an ahead bulwark in the defense of the American nation.
His family received a commemoration from President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It reads: In grateful memory of John Cady Lough, who died in the service of his country, SEA, Pacific Area, ATTACHED U.S.S. ENTERPRISE, 5 JUNE 1943 (Presumed)*. He stands in the unbroken line of patriots who have dared to die that freedom might live and grow and increase its blessings. Freedom lives, and through it, he lives -- in a way that humbles the undertakings of most men.

(Signed) Franklin D. Roosevelt,
President of the United States

(*Presumed dead on 5 Jun 1943. Actual date gone missing was 4 Jun 1942.)
The Daily Chronicle (De Kalb, Illinois) – 19 Jan 1944, Wed. – p. 8
Ship Is Named After Victim of Sea Battle
Chicago, Jan 19—The destroyer escort USS Lough, named in honor of Ens. John C. Lough, Geneseo, Ill., who was killed in action, will slide down the ways Saturday, the ninth naval district public relations office announces. Rose Anne Lough, the hero’s sister, will sponsor the ship at ceremonies at the Bethlehem-Hingham shipyard, Hingham, Mass. Lough, an Illinois Wesleyan University graduate, served with a scouting squadron aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise, and was reported missing in action after the battle of Midway Island, June 1942. He was declared dead a year later. Lough’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. George W. Lough, live near Geneseo.
USS Lough (DE-586), named in honor of him, was a Rudderow-class destroyer escort built by the Bethlehem-Hingham shipyard and commissioned on 22 Jan 1944. Sponsor was his sister, Ms Rose Anne Lough. Lough received three battle stars for WWII service. She was decommissioned at San Diego 24 Jun 1946.
[bio compiled and news articles transcribed by G47]

Family Members

Gravesite Details Entered the service from Illinois.

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  • Maintained by: G47
  • Originally Created by: War Graves
  • Added: 6 Aug 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 56123717
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Ens John Cady Lough (22 Nov 1915–4 Jun 1942), Find A Grave Memorial no. 56123717, citing Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA ; Maintained by G47 (contributor 47281148) .