Donnas Hank Boyd served on the U.S.S. Sonoma. The Sonoma was attacked by enemy aircraft on 24 October 1944.
He is memorialized at Manila American Cemetery.
Donnas Hank Boyd, Cox (T) 845-49-17, USN-I, manned the port midship boat deck .50 caliber gun directly above the point through which the burning plane crashed. Although covered with burning gasoline and in the midst of the holocaust that engulfed the midship section at the time, and though badly burned, he remained to force the jammed door of the burning radio room thereby releasing the two men on watch trapped inside. By this action they were recovered uninjured but Boyd, now suffering from many burns was in a critical condition, and their safety may be at the cost of his life.
Lieut. W.R. Wurzler, USNR recommended him for a Navy Cross for exceptional valor.
Donnas Boyd was transferred to the U.S.S. Mercy for treatment.
The Knoxville News-Sentinel, 27 January 1945
Coxswain Donnad Hank, 27, former Blount Countian, died Oct. 27, 1944 from injuries suffered while freeing two radiomen from a burning radio room aboard ship Oct. 24, Lt. W.R. Wurzler, of Bureau of Naval Washington, has Personnel notified the sailor’s mother, Mrs. Doshie Boyd, Marble Hill, Ga. A.50 caliber machine gunner during an anti-aircraft action with the enemy, Hank extricated the radiomen from the room after several explosions had jammed the door. He then jumped into the water and was picked up and give medical attention. After several periods of consciousness, Hank suffered a relapse. He was buried at sea with full military honors. Lt. Wurzler wrote that he has recommended that the former Alcoa aluminnum plant employe he awarded posthumously the Navy Cross for the “outstanding bravery.”A brother, Thomas Edward Hank, enlisted in the Navy at 16, but was discharged after his age was discovered while at sea. James Egbert Hank, another brother, is serving in the Pacific.
- Rank: Coxswain
- Date of birth: 17 September 1917
- Date of death: 27 October 1944
- County: Blount
- Hometown: Cherokee, Ga
- Service Branch: Navy
- Division/Assignment: USS Sonoma (ATO-12)
- Theater: Pacific
- Conflict: World War II
- Awards: Navy Cross
- Burial/Memorial Location: Manila American Cemetery, Fort Bonifacio, Manila, Philippines
- Location In Memorial: Pillar VI, Bottom Panel
- Contact us to sponsor Donnas H. Boyd
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