Hopedale Man Presumed Dead

    HOPEDALE, Jan. 28 [1946] - Lieut. Donald Raymond Midgley, 28, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Midgley, 171
    Dutcher Street, who has been listed as missing in action since May 1944, is now presumed to be
    deceased, according to a letter received Saturday by his parents.

    Lieut. Midgley was born in Milford and came here to live as a young boy. He graduated from the high
    school and then entered the Naval Academy in Annapolis, graduating in 1941

    He was assigned to the cruiser Astoria and later attended the submarine school in New London and a
    gunnery school, and before entering the submarine service was a gunnery instructor. He had served in the
    submarine service two years, being executive officer and second in command on the Gudgeon. (photo
    below)

    This sub was credited by the navy with the sinking of more tonnage of enemy craft than any other and in
    December 1943, the officers and crew were cited and Lieut. Midgley received the submarine combat
    insignia with three stars.

    Lieut. Midgley was on his last patrol at the time the sub was reported missing. As all members of the 1941
    class at Annapolis have attained the rating of lieutenant commander, he doubtless would have been
    accorded this commission had he returned to the base.

    In addition to his parents, he is survived by a sister, Mrs. J. Francis Cahill of Milford. He is the 10th local
    serviceman to give his life in World War II and the last of several men reported as missing to be officially
    declared deceased.

    The communication from the Navy department follows:

    "Your son, Lieut. Donald Raymond Midgley, United States Navy, has been carried on the official records of
    the Navy department in the status of missing in action as of May 5, 1944. He was serving on board the
    USS Gudgeon when that submarine failed to return from patrol operations in the Pacific area.

    On April 7, 1944, the Gudgeon departed from Johnston Island to patrol waters in the Western Pacific where
    she was likely to encounter the enemy. Subsequent to her departure from Johnston Island, the Gudgeon
    failed to acknowledge three messages, the last of which was sent on May 14, 1944. To date, no further
    information has been received by the navy concerning the fate of the submarine.

    In view of the length of time that has now elapsed since your son was reported to be missing and because
    there have been on official nor unconfirmed reports that any personnel of the vessel survived or were taken
    prisoner of war, I am reluctantly forced to the conclusion that your son is deceased.”  James Forrestal
    Milford Daily News

           More on the Gudgeon (A link sent by Peter Metzke.)            War Veterans' Menu                     HOME   

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    Thanks to Mike Ostlund, via Peter Metzke, for this
    photo of Midgley's submarine, the USS Gudgeon.
    Mike wrote a book about the Gudgeon. Click here
    to go to his site about the book and the sub.

    Article from the Spokesman-Review, Spokane,
    Washington, June 1, 1945, sent by Peter Metzke of
    Melbourne, Australia.