Zenneth A. Pond

NAME
Zenneth Arthur Pond
NICKNAME
MCSN
O-9433
HOME OF RECORD
1714 Cooper Street, Jackson, MI
NEXT OF KIN
Mother, Mrs. Zella Pond
DATE OF BIRTH
December 7, 1919
DATE OF ENLISTMENT
1941
DATE OF LOSS
September 10, 1942
REGION
Solomons
CAMPAIGN / AREA
Guadalcanal
CASUALTY TYPE
MIA (Declared Dead)
September 11, 1943
UNIT
VMF-223
DUTY
Pilot
CIRCUMSTANCES OF LOSS
Second Lieutenant Zenneth Pond was a pilot flying with VMF-223, part of the Cactus Air Force based out of Henderson Field, Guadalcanal. He was also one of the squadron’s first aces, with six confirmed kills scored between 24 August and 5 September.

On 10 September, four “Bulldogs” were alerted to an incoming Japanese force of 26 bombers and 20 fighters. The Marines knocked down four bombers, but Second Lieutenant Pond in F4F-4 BuNo 02071 failed to return from the mission.*

Lieutenant Pond was declared dead on 11 September 1943.

INDIVIDUAL DECORATIONS
Navy Cross, Purple Heart
LAST KNOWN RANK
Second Lieutenant
Posthumous promotion to Captain.
STATUS OF REMAINS
Not recovered.
MEMORIALS
Woodland Cemetery, Jackson, MI
Manila American Cemetery

* Note: Several sources state that Pond was piloting F4F-4 #03491. The War Diary of VMF-223 places Pond in #02071 on 10 September, and records that #03491 was received by the squadron on 13 September.

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The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Second Lieutenant Zenneth Arthur Pond (MCSN: 0-9433), United States 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-THREE (VMF-223), Marine Air Group TWENTY-THREE (MAG-23), FIRST Marine Aircraft Wing, in aerial combat with enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands from 20 August 1942 to 13 September 1942. Alone, and with utter disregard for his own personal safety, Second Lieutenant Pond courageously attacked and shot down six enemy planes. His outstanding valor and skillful airmanship were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

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