Posted on August 3rd, 2016 by:

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The U.S. Military’s POW/MIA Accounting Command has identified the remains of Navy Ens. John C. England more than seventy years after he died while saving shipmates on December 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor. He will be buried at 10 a.m. Aug. 13 at Evergreen Cemetery in Colorado Springs, Colo., alongside his parents, Thelma B. and Harry B. England.

In 2014, some relatives of Pearl Harbor victims learned that their loved ones lost during the attack could be identified. The men, all from the USS Oklahoma, had been buried in a mass grave as unknown soldiers after a military doctor in 1949 declined to sign off on the identifications made from dental records.

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Ensign John C. England

The US Navy was initially reluctant to try to identify any remains from Pearl Harbor claiming they were “home” already. After years of going back and forth the family of Ens. John C. England will get their relative returned to them and buried in their family plot.

John England was born in Harris, Missouri but grew up in Alhambra, California. He attended Alhambra High School, and was senior class president in 1938. His high school still presents the J.C. England Award to recognize a graduating senior who has “excelled in character, integrity and benevolent service.”

During the attack on Pearl Harbor, England was seen rushing to the radio room pulling injured men to safety. He made three successful trips but on his fourth attempt, he did not return.

England died four days before his 21st birthday, leaving a widow, Helen Elaine England, and a 3-week-old daughter, Victoria Louise. Two Navy ships, a Destroyer Escort (DE-635) and guided missile cruiser (DLG/CG-22) were named after England.

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Thelma England puts up a gold star flag for her son John England, killed at Pearl Harbor on the USS Oklahoma (Photo: Los Angeles Times)

On May 10, 1942, a report on his mother was printed in the Los Angeles Times

“It’s not so pleasant this first Mother’s Day of wartime America; particularly for the mothers.

For instance, there’s little Mrs. Harry B. England of … Alhambra. Back in Missouri 20 years ago last Dec. 11, she became the mother of a fine son she named John Charles England. When John was 6 the family came here.

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Thelma England christens the USS John C. England

John was an honor student at Alhambra High School where he was president of the senior class and yell leader, and he was yell leader at Pasadena Junior College, where he was graduated in June two years ago. A year later he won a commission as a Navy ensign and reported aboard the battleship USS Oklahoma in San Francisco last September.

You may guess the rest.

This morning there is pasted on the front window of the England home a service flag bearing a gold star. It’s the only visible reminder of a sturdy, pleasant boy who used to play on the lawn of that comfortable, once happy home.”


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