Service Number: O-007013
Birth and Early Life:
Eugene Madole was the son of J. P. Madole of Long Beach, California. He was heavily involved in sports at Woodrow Wilson High School before his graduation in 1938, and went on to attend a junior college near his hometown.
Enlistment and Boot Camp:
Madole enlisted on September 16, 1940 at the Naval Reserve Aviation Unit in Long Beach. The next day, as was typical, he received a promotion to Private First Class and was designated a Student Naval Aviation Pilot. Madole passed his elimination tests, and became a fully qualified pilot in 1941.
Lieutenant Madole was aboard the USS William Ward Burrows in February, 1942, headed for a tiny speck of land in the Pacific – the island of Midway. He joined VMF-221 and, as one of the more junior pilots in the squadron, was assigned to the First Division where the squadron CO, Major Floyd Parks, could keep an eye on his developing skills. Madole trained at Midway and prepared for what all knew was coming – a Japanese attack on Midway.
Date Of Loss:
Eugene Madole was flying an F2A-3 Brewster Buffalo (Bureau Number 01548) with squadron markings MF-2 on the morning of June 4, 1942. He bravely followed Major Parks into battle where the Marines in their outdated Buffalos were faced with nearly five times their number of Japanese aircraft. Nobody knows how Madole fared in his first and only fight against the enemy, as neither he nor any of his division survived the battle.
Lieutenant Madole was awarded a Navy Cross for his part in the battle.
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Eugene P. Madole (0-7013), Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession while serving as a Pilot in Marine Fighting Squadron TWO HUNDRED TWENTY-ONE (VMF-221), Marine Air Group TWENTY-TWO (MAG-22), Naval Air Station, Midway, during operations of the U.S. Naval and Marine Forces against the invading Japanese Fleet during the Battle of Midway on 4 June 1942. Delivering a dauntless and aggressive attack against a vastly superior number of Japanese bomber and fighter planes, Second Lieutenant Madole aided in disrupting the plans of the enemy and lessening the effectiveness of their attack, thereby contributing materially to the success of our forces. As a result of his courageous and daring tactics and because of the circumstances attendant upon this engagement, there can be little doubt that Second Lieutenant Madole gallantly gave up his life in the service of his country. He displayed the characteristics of an excellent airman in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Next Of Kin:
Father, Mr. J. P. Madole
Status Of Remains:
Lost at sea.
Tablets of the Missing, National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
Arlington National Cemetery.