Ross, Donald Kirby, CAPT

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Last Rank
Last Primary NEC
613X-Limited Duty Officer - Engineering/Repair - Surface
Last Rating/NEC Group
Limited Duty Officer
Primary Unit
1940-1946, 613X, USS Nevada (BB-36)
Service Years
1929 - 1956

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Felix Cervantes, III (Admiral Ese), BM2 to remember Ross, Donald Kirby (MOH), CAPT.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Beverly, Kansas
Last Address
Port Orchard, Washington.
Captain Ross' cremains were scattered at the Battleship NEVADA memorial site, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. A cenotaph was erected in his honor at the Beverly Cemetery, Beverly, Kansas.

Date of Passing
May 27, 1992
Location of Interment
Buried at Sea, Pacific Ocean
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Cenotaph (Buried at Sea)

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 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Donald Kirby Ross was born in Beverly, Kansas, on 8 December 1910. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1929 and was trained as a Machinist's Mate. He advanced in that field and became a Warrant Officer Machinist in October 1940. During the 7 December 1941 Japanese air raid on Pearl Harbor, he was serving on board USS Nevada (BB-36). When the ship was badly damaged by bombs and torpedoes, he kept the dynamo rooms operating until he was overpowered by smoke, steam, heat and exhaustion. For his courageous conduct, Machinist Ross was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Ross was promoted to Chief Machinist in March 1942 and was simultaneously receiving a temporary commission as an Ensign. He rose steadily in temporary rank to Lieutenant Commander by the end of the War, reverting to Lieutenant at its conclusion. He again received promotion to Lieutenant Commander in 1949 and to Commander in November 1954. Upon his retirement from active duty in July 1956, after twenty-seven years' of service, he was promoted to Captain on the basis of his combat awards.

Making his home in Washington State after leaving the Navy, Captain Ross was active in farm life and community affairs, and in perpetuating the memory of the Pearl Harbor attack, which he described as "not a story about a defeat. It's a story about a job well done". He attended 50th Anniversary ceremonies at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1991, during which a memorial was dedicated to his old ship, USS Nevada. Captain Donald K. Ross died at Bremerton, Washington, on 27 May 1992.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG-71), 1997-____, is named in honor of Captain Ross.

Other Comments:

Captain Ross' cremains were scattered at the Battleship NEVADA memorial site, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.  A cenotaph was erected in his honor at the Beverly Cemetery, Beverly, Kansas.

"For distinguished conduct in the line of his profession, extraordinary courage and disregard of his own life during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, by Japanese forces on 7 December 1941. When his station in the forward dynamo room of the U.S.S. Nevada became almost untenable due to smoke, steam, and heat, Machinist Ross forced his men to leave that station and performed all the duties himself until blinded and unconscious. Upon being rescued and resuscitated, he returned and secured the forward dynamo room and proceeded to the after dynamo room where he was later again rendered unconscious by exhaustion. Again recovering consciousness he returned to his station where he remained until directed to abandon it."

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 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1929, Recruit Training (San Diego, CA)
 Duty Stations
US NavyUSS Relief (AH-1)
  1930-1931, USS Henderson (AP-1)
  1931-1933, USS Relief (AH-1)
  1933-1935, USS Brant (AM-24)
  1935-1937, USS Simpson (DD-221)
  1937-1940, USS Minneapolis (CA-36)
  1940-1946, 613X, USS Nevada (BB-36)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1941 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Attack on Pearl Harbor
  1942-1945 World War II
  1944-1944 Normandy Campaign (1944)/Operation Overlord
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