Hopedale Man Presumed Dead
HOPEDALE, Jan. 28  - Lieut. Donald Raymond Midgley, 28, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Midgley, 171
Dutcher Street, who has been listed as missing in action since May 1944, is now presumed to be
deceased, according to a letter received Saturday by his parents.
Lieut. Midgley was born in Milford and came here to live as a young boy. He graduated from the high
school and then entered the Naval Academy in Annapolis, graduating in 1941
He was assigned to the cruiser Astoria and later attended the submarine school in New London and a
gunnery school, and before entering the submarine service was a gunnery instructor. He had served in the
submarine service two years, being executive officer and second in command on the Gudgeon. (photo
This sub was credited by the navy with the sinking of more tonnage of enemy craft than any other and in
December 1943, the officers and crew were cited and Lieut. Midgley received the submarine combat
insignia with three stars.
Lieut. Midgley was on his last patrol at the time the sub was reported missing. As all members of the 1941
class at Annapolis have attained the rating of lieutenant commander, he doubtless would have been
accorded this commission had he returned to the base.
In addition to his parents, he is survived by a sister, Mrs. J. Francis Cahill of Milford. He is the 10th local
serviceman to give his life in World War II and the last of several men reported as missing to be officially
The communication from the Navy department follows:
"Your son, Lieut. Donald Raymond Midgley, United States Navy, has been carried on the official records of
the Navy department in the status of missing in action as of May 5, 1944. He was serving on board the
USS Gudgeon when that submarine failed to return from patrol operations in the Pacific area.
On April 7, 1944, the Gudgeon departed from Johnston Island to patrol waters in the Western Pacific where
she was likely to encounter the enemy. Subsequent to her departure from Johnston Island, the Gudgeon
failed to acknowledge three messages, the last of which was sent on May 14, 1944. To date, no further
information has been received by the navy concerning the fate of the submarine.
In view of the length of time that has now elapsed since your son was reported to be missing and because
there have been on official nor unconfirmed reports that any personnel of the vessel survived or were taken
prisoner of war, I am reluctantly forced to the conclusion that your son is deceased.” James Forrestal
Milford Daily News
More on the Gudgeon (A link sent by Peter Metzke.) War Veterans' Menu HOME
Thanks to Mike Ostlund, via Peter Metzke, for this
photo of Midgley's submarine, the USS Gudgeon.
Mike wrote a book about the Gudgeon. Click here
to go to his site about the book and the sub.
Article from the Spokesman-Review, Spokane,
Washington, June 1, 1945, sent by Peter Metzke of
The problems mentioned above
were due to the Hurricane of '38.