John N. Compton
John N. Compton was born Jul. 6, 1919 in Terre Haute, Indiana. He was the son of John Norvin Compton, Sr. and Lenore H. Cox Compton and had two younger siblings Robert and Lenore. His father was an engineer and worked for Carbide Carbon Chemical Inc and his mother was a homemaker. John Compton Jr. attended St. Andrews school and was graduated in 1941 from Yale. He was married to Adrienne Rickert Compton at the Church of the Resurrection, Rye, N. Y. on September 9, 1943. Mrs. Compton was a niece of Mrs. Douglas Vought, of 973 Forest Avenue and lived in Rye during the war years. John served as an officer in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
Service Time: John joined the U. S. Navy, in the spring of 1942 and after his initial training served as a Lieutenant on the U. S. S. Herring. On 21 May 1944, USS HERRING SS-233 began her eighth war patrol, setting out from Midway enroute to the Kurile Islands, an archipelago that stretches over 800 miles from Hokkaido, Japan, to Kamchatka, Russia.
On the morning of the final day of the month she met up with USS BARB SS-220 . Held megaphone conference, the commanding officer of BARB wrote in his patrol report. Decided Barb would cover area south and west of lane, Herring to north and east to Matsuwa. At 1120: Secured conference and headed south for roving patrol along lane. HERRING would never be seen or heard from again.
Spirits aboard the boat must have been high as she turned away from BARB: Japanese records reveal that HERRING had sunk two enemy vessels the night before, one of which, Ishigaki, had been responsible for the loss of USS S-44 SS-155 back in October of 1943. Unfortunately, the records also reveal how HERRING died.
The day after she rendezvoused with BARB, the boat arrived at Matsuwa Island to find two more ships at anchor. She promptly sank them, but was spotted in the process.
Japanese shore batteries began lobbing shells at the sub; she was hit twice on her conning tower. Bubbles covered an area about 5 meters wide, and heavy oil covered an area of approximately 15 miles, the record states.
On Jun. 1, 1944, Eighty-three men perished aboard HERRING on what was simultaneously her most and least successful war patrol. The boat was awarded five battle stars for her wartime service.
It was not until late August that Lieut. John N. Compton, U. S. Navy, was initially reported missing in action, according to a telegram received by his wife, who was then staying with other members of her family at the Coveleigh Club, Milton Point. According to the Rye Chronicle, Parishioners of the Church of the Resurrection were asked to include him in their prayers at the Masses.
John had served the Navy for two years and four months at the time of his death. He was decorated with a unit Presidential Citation, World War II Victory Medal, and the Purple Heart.
His remains were not recovered