John Gaynor Connolly, born in Savannah, Ga., 28 April 1893, enlisted in the Navy 6 October 1913. He served in Russia, China, the Philippines, and in many ships. On 13 March 1926, he was commissioned Chief Pay Clerk. He was killed in action during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor 7 December 1941, while serving in Oklahoma (BB-37).
(DE-306: dp. 1,140; l. 289'5"; b. 35'1"; dr. 8'3"; s. 21 k.; cpl. 156; a. 3 3", 8 dcp., 1 dcp.(hh.), 2 dct.; cl. Evarts)
Connolly (DE-306) was launched 15 Jan. 1944 by Mare Is. Navy Yard; sponsored by Mrs. Mary Francis Connolly, commissioned 8 July 1944, Lt. W. A. Collier in command, and reported to the Pacific Fleet.
Connolly operated in Hawaiian waters on training from 24 September 1944 until 22 January 1945, when she sailed for duty in the Iwo Jima operation from 19 February until 1 March. She patrolled off the island to protect shipping and providing direct support to the landings. After screening transports to Espiritu Santo, Connolly guarded the convoy to Okinawa, arriving oif the Hagushi beaches 9 April. She served on antisubmarine patrol until sailing for repairs at Ulithi 4 May.
Connolly arrived off Okinawa again in the screen of a resupply convoy 6 June 1945, then joined the screen of amphibious ships carrying out subsidiary landings in the Nansei Shoto until she reported in Leyte Gulf 14 July to join the forces of the Philippine Sea Frontier. Between 17 July and 12 August, she voyaged to Okinawa on escort duty, then operated in the Philippines until 7 September, when she cleared Manila for Eniwetok, Pearl Harbor, San Pedro, Calif., and Charleston, S.C., arriving 2 November. Here she was decommissioned 22 November 1945 and sold for scrapping 20 May 1946.
Connolly received two battle stars for World War II service.