"When the enemy was coming in, I sent my executive officer to clear the bridge and flight deck. All hands cleared the deck, except John and a hospital corpsman, who were on deck, aiding an injured man, when the bomb exploded directly over him. I can tell you that John was killed instantly and died due to the fact that he made his choice whether to save his own life or whether to risk that life in saving an enlisted man.
"After battles, such as I have been through twice, there is only one thought that continually goes through my mind, and that is 'Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends.'
"It was through John's ability to organize and his leadership that, when the Task Force Command wanted a fast unscheduled loading, it was given to my ship. In my opinion, he was the ideal type of Naval officer, respectful to rank, but unafraid and always willing to express his opinion or advice."
John J. Kelley
U.S. Naval Reserve
:Lieutenant John J. Kelley, United States Naval Reserve, who has served 18 months in the Atlantic Theater, was detached in April from the state of Commander, Air Force, Atlantic Fleet.
Upon being detached, he was ordered to report to the Commanding Officer of the new "essex class" aircraft carrier USS TICONDEROGA for duty as Senior Air Ordnance Officer and is now serving in that capacity in the Pacific Theater of Operations.
Lieutenant Kelley is the son of Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Kelley, 1215 Graham Avenue.
Last word from the young officer was that he was on duty "somewhere in the Pacific."
Killed in Action
Lieutenant John Kelley, III, son of Mr. and Mrs. John J. Kelley, Jr., 1218 Graham Avenue, killed in action in the Pacific, met death on the carrier USS Ticonderoga, it was announced by his parents today, following publication yesterday of the Ticonderoga's historic battle, in which 377 persons were reported killed, missing, or wounded.
Letter From Commodore Dixie Kiefer
The following is an excerpt from the letter of Commodore Dixie Kiefer, the ship's captain, to Mr. and Mrs. Kelley
Lieutenant Kelley was buried at sea on January 22, 1945. He entered the service in March 1942 and received his indoctrination at the University of Notre Dame, with further training at the Officers Inspectors School, Washington, DC and the Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, FL.
He served with the Air Force of the Atlantic Fleet for 18 months, before his assignment as Senior Air Ordnance Officer aboard the USS Ticonderoga. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame.