LANG, John, WO

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Warrant Officer
Last Service Branch
Explosive Ordnance Disposal Warrant Officer
Last Primary NEC
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1944-1944, QM-0000, UDT-20 (WW2)
Service Years
1916 - 1945
Explosive Ordnance Disposal Warrant Officer
Warrant Officer

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

36 kb

Home State
North Dakota
North Dakota
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember LANG, John (Navy Cross), WO.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Last Address
Lang was born at Casselton, North Dakota in 1899 and died in 1970 in Long Beach, California. After his death his ashes were scattered on the Pacific Ocean at his request.

Date of Passing
Jul 01, 1970
Location of Interment
Buried at Sea, Pacific Ocean
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

WW II Honorable Discharge Pin US Navy Retired 30

 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Shellback US Navy Honorable Discharge Navy Chief Initiated Order of the Golden Dragon

Blue Star

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity


Second Award

Chief Quartermaster, U.S. Navy

Navy Cross
Awarded for action during: Peace Time

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Chief Quartermaster John Henry Lang, United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty during the bombing and loss of the U.S.S. PANAY (PR-5), when that vessel was attacked by Japanese airplanes during patrol in the Yangtze River, China, on 12 December 1937. Chief Quartermaster Lang assisted his severely wounded commanding officer from the bridge and, although badly wounded himself, courageously operated the machine gun battery against the attacking planes, even though these guns could not bear forward from which direction most of the attacks were made. Chief Quartermaster Lang demonstrated great intelligence and initiative in a situation where all of the officers were wounded, and refused medical aid for himself until all others were cared for. His conduct throughout this action reflects great credit upon himself, and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Bureau of Navigation Bulletin 261 (July 1, 1938)
Action Date: 12-Dec-37
Rank: Chief Quartermaster
Division: U.S.S. Panay (PR-5)

He was later awarded $25,000 by the Japanese government for wounds: Shrapnel wounds, lacerated right arm, and cuts of face & chest, permanent disability in ankylosis of right elbow joint and permanent disfigurement of face from shrapnel wound in chin.

NTWS profiles of USS Panay crew members include:
RM2 Charles S. ADAMS:
Ens. (LCdr.) Denis H. BIWERSE:
SK1 Charles Lee ENSMINGER:
LTjg (CDR) John W. GEIST:
FN1c John L. HODGE:
SN1c Edgar W. G. HULSEBUS (KIA):
QMC (WO) John H. LANG:

Other Comments:
John Henry Lang
Two Navy Crosses and Fourteen Purple Hearts

John H. Lang was a U.S., Japanese and Canadian military and naval hero of the first half of the twentieth century. Lang was born at Casselton, North Dakota in 1899 and died in 1970 in Long Beach, California.

He left home to enlist in the Canadian Army at Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1916. After service in England and France in the Canadian Engineers, Lang transferred to the Canadian Black Watch Infantry and then was seconded to the Royal Highland Regiment (the British Black Watch) with whom he participated in the Third Battle of Ypres in 1917. He was awarded the British Distinguished Service Medal (DSM) for his actions in that engagement.

Upon his return from Europe at the end of the First World War, he enlisted in the United States Navy. Lang served for most of his navy career in the China Fleet in the ship's company of several gunboats as Quartermaster.

In the 1920s he was awarded the Navy Cross and the Japanese Order of the Chrysanthemum (2nd Class) for his heroism during a combined Japanese/US naval operation on the Yangtze River against warlord forces that had besieged the legations on the river.

Lang was awarded the Navy Cross for the second time in the sinking of USS Panay by Imperial Japanese forces in 1937. He was also wounded several more times in this action. Altogether Lang held fourteen awards of the Purple Heart for combat wounds.

During the Second World War Lang was a member of the commissioning crew of the battleship USS Massachusetts and participated in the naval landings in Morocco, commanded a Landing Ship Tank (LST) until she was sunk in the invasion of the Admiralty Islands and was Executive Officer of Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) Number 2. As a member of this "Frogman" unit he was working on the removal of a moored Japanese mine on a reef off Saipan when another mine nearby detonated killing several comrades and wounding Lang terribly. After two years recuperation, he was retired from the US Navy in the grade of "Commissioned Warrant Officer". After his death his ashes were scattered on the Pacific Ocean at his request.
 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar
First Class Diver Badge

 Duty Stations
<B>US Army (USA)</b>US NavyUSS Massachusetts (BB-59)
  1916-1918, US Army (USA)
  1928-1928, QM-0000, USS Palos (PR-1)
  1936-1937, QM-0000, USS Panay (PR-5)
  1942-1943, QM-0000, USS Massachusetts (BB-59)
  1943-1943, QM-0000, USS No Name (LST-158)
  1944-1944, QM-0000, UDT-20 (WW2)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1937-1937 Sinking of the USS Panay (PR-5)
  1937-1937 Sinking of the USS Panay (PR-5)
  1942-1942 Algeria-French Morocco Campaign (1942)/Operation Torch
  1944-1944 World War II
  1944-1944 Mariana and Palau Islands Campaign (1944)/Battle of Saipan
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  John H. Lang
  USS Panay1
  Recipients of The Navy Cross, from the Navy Index of Awards
  Aug 03, 2012, General Photos
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