Skip to Main Content

Welcome to the Lamar Memorial Library!
NO FOOD ALLOWED - Drinks in covered containers are permitted.

Click Here for Information About Online Library Services and Resources, including Live Chat with a Librarian.

library homepage
Today's Hours:  

Always Remember Those Who Gave All: MC WW2 Gold Stars and MIA Survivors

John James Ballenger

John James Ballenger (1919-1945)

MC Class: 1941

Years at MC: 1937-1941

Hometown: Hartford, CT, later Washington DC

Life at MC: Economics Major; Honor Roll, Band, Glee Club, Swimming Team Manager (Sophomore and Junior Years), Honors Work (Senior Year), Midwinter Entertainment (Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior Years)

Military Branch: US Navy

Military Unit: Unknown

Rank: Lieutenant (Pilot)

Medals Awarded: None Known

Date Missing: 3 February 1945

Date of Death: 3 February 1945

Location of Death: 11 miles WNW of Point Reyes, CA (in Pacific Ocean)

Circumstances of Death: "On 3 February 1945 LT Ballenger and crew in BuNo33304 took off from [Naval Air Station] Moffett Field, CA, on a routine anti-submarine night illumination practice at sea 11 miles WNW of Point Reyes, CA. Three parachute flares were dropped and ignited in a normal manner. The fourth flare remained attached to the plane after it had been dropped and ignited. The plane, because of the brilliance of the attached flare, was not seen again. When the flare that had remained with the plane hit the water there was an explosion and fragments of the plane were later recovered. Extensive searches by air and surface craft were made but only the body of the pilot was recovered and small pieces of the plane. Crew lost: Pilot LT John James Ballenger, Co-Pilot LTJG E.H. Brown III; RM3c J.W. Field; RM2c F.R. Wilson; and AOM2c W.P. Hawk. LTJG James Albert Kaup was aboard as a Technical Observer." (Campbell, Douglas E., VPNavy! USN, USMC, USCG and NATS Patrol Aircraft Lost or Damaged During World War II, Publishing, 2018. p. 478)

Burial/Memorial Information: Zion Hill Cemetery, Hartford, Hartford County, Connecticut (

Additional Information: "The circumstances of this latest death of which we know appear strikingly similar to those attending the death of Weldon Baird, our first gold star, three years earlier." (Dr. Ralph W. Lloyd)

Additional Images:

1942 Letter from John James Ballenger to MC Alumni Office

1941 Mens Glee Club: Ballenger is sixth from left on first row (seated)

1941 Band