Ens John Davis Wingfield


Ens John Davis Wingfield

Richmond City, Virginia, USA
Death 8 May 1942 (aged 25)
At Sea
Memorial Site* Manila, Capital District, National Capital Region, Philippines

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

Plot Tablets of the Missing - United States Navy--Missing In Action
Memorial ID 56786373 View Source

He was a member of the John Marshall High School Corps of Cadets E co class of 1934 Richmond Va
JM class historian, his Motto " Keep on keeping on"

Navy MIA or lost at sea

Birth: Nov 4 1916
Resided at 2110 Rose Ave., Richmond, Va
Univ of Virginia Grad

Death: May 8,1942 ** Declared dead May 9 1943
Navy Cross Just below Medal of Honor
Purple Heart
American Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal
Combat Action Ribbo

On November 15, 1940, he was appointed an aviation cadet and after training in Florida, Anacostia Field in Washington, DC, He was ordered to California for additional training with the Advanced Carrier Training Group, Pacific. After Pearl Harbor was attacked, his squadron was assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Lexington CV-2, which saw action in the South Pacific.

On March 26, 1942 after a brief stay in Pearl Harbor, the ship departed and the planes, including the plane piloted by Ensign Wingfield landed on the deck as the aircraft carrier sailed toward Australia and into the Coral Sea where it encountered the Japanese navy in what became known as the Battle of the Coral Sea.

On May 7, 1942, the two fleets engaged in the first naval battle in history in which the combatants never saw each other's ships. They used their aircraft to try to bomb each other out of existence and on May 8th, Wingfield was piloting his Bomber in an attack on the massive Japanese aircraft carrier as he hoped to sink this aircraft carrier that had participated in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He made his bomb run on the carrier, but for some reason, the bomb did not release. Unaware of the situation, Wingfield was headed back to the Lexington CV-2 when he was told he still had the bomb. Instead of continuing to follow his course to the USS Lexington, he turned back to attack the Japanese carrier. His lone plane was fired at by Japanese aircraft and shipboard guns. He was never seen again. His fate remains unknown.What were his final thoughts as his plane was being torn apart by Japanese bullets? Were they of
'Dear Old John Marshall", the Univ.of Yirginia, his mother,or his family, or maybe it was of his class motto "Keep on keeping on"

The next day the USS Lexington CV-2 was hit by two Japanese torpedoes and three bombs, causing the ship to list and catch fire. The Lexington, badly damaged by Japanese torpedoes, bombs and secondary fires, was abandoned and scuttled on May 8. More than 200 crew, of a total of nearly 3,000 aboard, died in the battle.

On December 30, 1943, his mother was notified that a Navy destroyer escort was going to be named in honor of her son, "The USS Wingfield". The Wingfield served in both the Atlantic and Pacific. Following the Japanese surrender, it was the first United States Navy ship to enter the Maloelap Atoll, where it proceeded to Toroa Anchorage. There Admiral Tamada of the imperial Japanese navy signed a surrender agreement, while the Windfield sailors stood at attention in dress white uniforms. The ship fired a twenty-one-gun salute when the United States flag reached the top of the flagpole. Ensign Wingfield would have been proud.

Gravesite Details

Entered the service from Virginia.

Family Members


In their memory
Plant Memorial Trees

Sponsored by Ancestry


  • Maintained by: kline hill
  • Originally Created by: War Graves
  • Added: 8 Aug 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 56786373
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Ens John Davis Wingfield (4 Nov 1916–8 May 1942), Find a Grave Memorial ID 56786373, citing Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Manila, Capital District, National Capital Region, Philippines ; Maintained by kline hill (contributor 48900668) .