Aldrich, Donald Nathan, Capt

 Service Photo 
 Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Primary MOS
7598-Basic Fixed-Wing Pilot
Last MOSGroup
Pilots/Naval Flight Officers
Primary Unit
1945-1947, 7598, VMF-471
Service Years
1942 - 1947



 Last Photo 
 Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSgt Michael Frederick (Fred) to remember Marine Capt Donald Nathan Aldrich.

If you knew or served with this Marine and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Last Address

Date of Passing
Mar 04, 1947
Location of Interment
Oak Woods Cemetery - Chicago, Illinois
Wall/Plot Coordinates

 Official Badges 

WW II Honorable Discharge Pin

 Unofficial Badges 


 Military Association Memberships
In the Line of Duty
  2015, In the Line of Duty

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Served in the Royal Canadian Air Force 1940-1941.
Entered USMCR when Congress allowed married men to serve in the US Military after Pearl Harbor.
Captain Aldrich did three tours in the Pacific Theater in 1943-1944. During the first tour, he shot down seven Zeroes, the second he saw none, the third he shot down thirteen, including four in a single day, for a total of twenty confirmed victories. He returned to the States a hero, received a ticker tape parade, and went on a tour to sell war bonds. He was Chicago's top Ace, and the fifth highest scoring Ace in the history of the Marine Corps.

Early in the morning of March 4th, 1947, Captain Aldrich was flying home to Chicago in an F-4U Corsair bearing the markings EA-25. He attempted to land at Ashburn Field, just two miles south of Chicago Midway, when the engine in his Corsair failed. Unknown to the Captain, the runway was closed due to muddy conditions. His Corsair's main landing gear sunk into a soft spot. The plane flipped on it's back, the tail section was torn off and flung 100 yards away. Captain Aldrich was killed instantly due to a crushed chest and broken neck.

He was buried with honors at Chicago's Oak Woods cemetary. He is survived by his widow, Marjorie Aldrich, and his son Frederick. 
Other Comments:
Shot down 20 Japanese planes while serving with VMF-215 as an F4U Corsair pilot. Don Aldrich had been turned down by recruiters before Pearl Harbor because he was married. Like many other eager young men of his generation, he went across the Canadian border and enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in February 1941. He got his wings that November. But the RCAF put the new aviator to work as an instructor. When the U.S. entered the war, Aldrich had no trouble rejoining his countrymen, and eventually got his wings of gold as a Marine aviator, following which, he headed for the Solomons. From August 1943 to February 1944, in three combat tours, Captain Aldrich gained an impressive number of kills, 20. Although he survived the war, he died in an operational accident in 1947.
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 Unit Assignments
VMF-216 (USMCR)MAG-14VMF-471
  1942-1945, 7598, VMF-216 (USMCR)
  1944-1944, 7598, MAG-14
  1945-1947, 7598, VMF-471
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1945 World War II
  1943-1944 Northern Solomon Islands Campaign (1943-44)/Battle of Bougainville
  1944-1944 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Northern Solomon Islands Campaign (1943-44)
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