Donald Gary was born in Findley, Ohio on July 23, 1901 and died on April 9, 1977.

Editor’s Note:  Voice of OC is honoring some of Orange County’s most notable veterans with profiles. We thank these people, other veterans and those serving today for their dedication and service to our country.

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The President of the United States of America, authorized by

Act of Congress, 3 March 1863, has awarded the Medal of Honor to

 Lieutenant (J. G.) Donald A. Gary

United States Navy


Citation: For conspicuous gallantry at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty as an engineering officer aboard the USS Franklin (CV 13) when that vessel was attacked by enemy aircraft during operations near Kobe, Japan, March 19, 1945

Stationed on the third deck when the ship was rocked by a series of explosions set off in her own stockpile of munitions, LTJG. Gary risked of his life to assist several hundred man trapped in a compartment filled with smoke.

As the men below decks became panic stricken from the continuous explosions, he assured them he would get them out. Groping through the dark, he ultimately discovered an escapeway.

Determine, he struggled his way back to the compartment despite deadly flames, flooding water, and the threat of additional explosions, on each occasion calmly leading his men through the smoke until they were saved.

Selfless in his concern for his ship and his men, he rallied others around him organizing and leading fire fighting parties onto the flight deck. When fire rooms 1 and 2 were in operable, entered No. 3 fireroom and directed the raising of steam.

An inspiring and courageous leader, LTJG. Gary rendered service under the most perilous conditions and was responsible for saving several hundred lives. His conduct reflects the highest credit upon the United States Naval Service.

Orange County Walk of Honor by AMVETS


More about Donald Gary:

Notable Orange County Veterans:

1st Lieutenant Kenneth A. Walsh, Medal of Honor: World War II Fighter Ace

Captain Nelson M. Holderman, Medal of Honor:  World War I Hero

Captain William E. Barber, Medal of Honor: Fought at Iwo Jima

Corporal Tibor Rubin, Medal of Honor: Korean War – 1st Cavalry Division

Lance Corporal Kenneth L. Worley, Medal of Honor: Gave His Life for his Country

Master-At-Arms Second Class Michael A. Monsoor, Medal of Honor: Navy Seal Dies While Saving His Comrades

PFC Clarence B. Craft, Medal of Honor: Hastened the End of the Campaign on Okinawa

Sergeant Chris Carr, Medal of Honor: WWII Hero Battled in Italy

Specialist Fourth Class John P. Baca, Medal of Honor: Vietnam Vet Protects His Troops

Staff Sergeant Walter D. Ehlers, Medal of Honor: Stormed Omaha Beach on D-Day

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