LtJG Donald Dillard Jones Spanagel

LtJG Donald Dillard Jones Spanagel

Allentown, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 17 Jan 1945 (aged 22)
At Sea
Burial Manila, Capital District, National Capital Region, Philippines
Plot Tablets Of The Missing ~ Navy
Memorial ID 56777723 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Having actually gone "Missing" on the above date, he was not officially declared by the military as being dead until January 18, 1946, 1 year and 1 day after he went missing as was the custom.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Donald served as a Lieutenant Junior Grade & Pilot with Bombing Squadron 20 (VB-20), U.S.S. Enterprise (CV-6), U.S. Navy during World War II.

He resided in the District Of Columbia prior to the war.

Donald was declared "Missing In Action" in the south China Sea during the war.

He was awarded the "Navy Cross", "Distinguished Flying Cross", Air Medal with 3 Gold Stars, and the Purple Heart.

Service # O-299449

Son of Captain and Mrs. Herman A. Spanagel who resided in Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, Maryland during the war.

( Bio by: Russ Pickett )

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Submitted by: BarryC:

Navy Cross Citation:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Ensign Donald Dillard Jones Spanagel (NSN: 0-299449), United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Dive Bomber in Bombing Squadron TWENTY (VB-20), attached to the U.S.S. ENTERPRISE (CV-6), during action against units of the Japanese Fleet in waters west of the Central Philippine Islands during the Battle for Leyte Gulf on 24 October 1944.

Flying as wingman on a search and attack mission when an enemy task force was sighted and his division was assigned the Japanese battleship MUSASHI as a target, Ensign Spanagel defied the withering barrages of anti-aircraft fire to dive low over the hostile warship and release his bombs at perilously low altitude to score direct hits which started fires and contributed materially to the infliction of extensive damage on the Japanese vessel. His superb airmanship, inspiring courage and unwavering devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon Ensign Spanagel and the United States Naval Service.


Gravesite Details Entered the service from D.C.


Plan a visit to Manila American Cemetery and Memorial?



  • Maintained by: Russ Pickett
  • Originally Created by: War Graves
  • Added: 8 Aug 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 56777723
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for LtJG Donald Dillard Jones Spanagel (14 Sep 1922–17 Jan 1945), Find A Grave Memorial no. 56777723, citing Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Manila, Capital District, National Capital Region, Philippines ; Maintained by Russ Pickett (contributor 46575736) .