Navy Badge
  • Name: John Bernard MacDonald
  • Location of Birth: Deer River, Minnesota
  • Date of Birth: February 20, 1924
  • Date of Death: October 31, 1944
  • Parents: Wilbur MacDonald & Bertha (Randall) MacDonald
  • High School and Class:
  • College:
  • Highest Rank: S1C (Seaman 1st Class)
  • Branch: Navy
  • Other Branch:
  • Date Sworn In: December 15, 1942
  • Place Sworn In:
  • Date of Discharge: October 31, 1944
  • Place of Discharge:
  • Units and Locations:
    Start Date End Date Unit(s) and Location(s) Served
    Boot training at Farragut, Idaho
    Roosevelt Field, California
  • Military Awards:

  • Military Highlights:
    WW II Draft Registration Cards – 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947
    State: Minnesota
    Name: John Bernard McDonald
    Race: White
    Age: 18
    Birth Date: February 20, 1924
    Birth Place: Deer River, Minnesota, USA
    Residence Place: Grand Avenue, Duluth
    Registration Date: June 30, 1942
    Employer: N. of A. School, Duluth, Minnesota
    Weight: 145
    Height: 6
    Complexion: Light
    Eye Color: Brown
    Hair Color: Black
    Next of Kin: Bertha McDonald, mother, Rt. 1, Deer River, Itasca, Minnesota

    News article (name of newspaper and date of publication are missing):
    John B. MacDonald Dies While in Service of His Country
    Once more the ruthless hand of war has struck this community,, taking to his death a fine young man whose home was just beyond the portals of this village.
    Mr. and Mrs. Wilber H. MacDonald of the town of Deer River, last Thursday received a telegram from the Navy Department in Washington, announcing the death of their son, Seaman First Class John Bernard MacDonald, United States Naval Reserve, on October 31, while in the service of his country. The wire stated the remains were being held at a naval hospital in California, but did not state where. Later telegrams revealed it was at San Francisco. Options were offered of interment in any national or naval cemetery, or shipmen home accompanied by an escort. The latter was ordered.
    Circumstances surrounding Seaman MacDonald's death has not been revealed in telegrams, but a letter of full details is expected soon. In his last letter received by his parents, dated October 6, John indicated he expected a leave soon and that he would be home for Christmas. It seems probably death occurred enroute or in a San Francisco hospital. If the former, it was probable near port as burial was not made at sea.
    A telegram received Sunday stated the remains left San Francisco at 6:30 Saturday evening and would arrive in Deer River over the Great Northern early Tuesday morning. The body and escort did not get here Tuesday but arrived Wednesday morning.

  • Wars Involved:
    World War II

  • MIA / POW:

  • Civilian Life:
    John B. MacDonald, Seaman First Class, United States Naval Reserve, was born in Deer River February 20, 1924. He attended grade and high school here until he reached the junior year. During several of his school years, he was a member of the band.

    He was baptized April 4, 1938. After school closed, in June, 1942, he went to Duluth to take industrial training. Later he went to Seattle, where he was employed by Pacific Huts.

    On December 20, 1942, he enlisted in the Navy and took boot training at Farragut, Idaho. His last visit here was on a 4-day leave in March, 1943. On returning to Farragut, he was sent to Roosevelt Field, California, where he finished training and left for service with the Pacific fleet. He was in the southwest Pacific for 18 months.

    A fine young man and a good citizen, he was a good fighter for his country as well, and his untimely death is mourned by a host of friends who extend sincere sympathy to the bereaved family.

    Seaman MacDonald is survived by his parents, two younger brothers, Bertram and Roger; and a sister, Mrs. Anita Nelson.

    John MacDonald died in San Francisco, California while in the service of his country. He is buried in Pine Ridge Cemetery, Deer River, Minnesota (Section A, Block 3).

  • Tribal Affiliation(s):