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John J. Van Buren

 

John James Van Buren, born in Mukwonago, Wis., 20 July 1915, enlisted in the Navy 24 March 1938 and was appointed Aviation Cadet in the Naval Reserve 3 August 1938. Upon completion of fleet training, he was commissioned Ensign 1 September 1939 and assigned to Bombing Squadron 6 on board Enterprise (CV-6). He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross 11 March 1942 for heroic conduct in aerial combat during the operations against the Marshall Islands when the formation he was flying in was attacked by enemy fighters. Through skillful handling of his plane and excellent markmanship, he shot down one of the attacking planes. Upon again being attacked by an enemy fighter, he maneuvered his plane to permit his rear seat gunner to shoot down this attacker before landing his bullet-riddled plane on Enterprise. During the Battle of Midway 4 June 1942, Van Buren defied extreme danger from concentrated antiaircraft fire and fierce fighter opposition to take part in the initial dive-bombing assault against Japanese naval units. Van Buren's plane did not return from this action. He was presumed dead. Lt. (j.g.) Van Buren received the Navy Cross for his bravery upon this occasion.

 

John J. Van Buren (DE-753) was laid down by Western Pipe & Steel Co., San Pedro, Calif., 31 August 1943; launched 16 January 1944; and sponsored by Mrs. J. J. Van Buren, widow of Lit. (j.g.) Van Buren. Construction of the uncompleted destroyer escort was cancelled 1 September 1944.