Obituary, Donald H Dunniway


Rdm 2/C Donald Howard Dunniway. USS Franklin CV13

Obituary for long time Colton resident Donald Howard
Dunniway. Died September 8, 2002
He served as a radar man aboard the U.S.S. Nassau CVE16 and then the
U.S.S. Franklin CV13
Donald Dunniway died peacefully in a Spokane, Washington hospital on
September 8, 2002. He had suffered with congestive heart failure for
10 years.  After a very successful pacemaker implant surgery just two
days before, the family had renewed hope that he would be around for a
while longer.  However, it wasn’t to be – time had run out for him.

Don was born in Redlands, California on October 28, 1922. The eldest son
of Harry and Martha (Thompson) Dunniway, a grocery store owner in
Redlands.  Don eventually moved to Colton where he met Marjorie Louise Sharp.
They were married in 1943 and he enlisted in the Navy.

He served as a radar man aboard the U.S.S. Nassau CVE16 and then the
U.S.S. Franklin CV13. On March 19, 1945, off the coast of Japan, his ship
was hit by a 2  Japanese bombs dropped by a Judy Bomber.  In the chaos that followed, over 724 men died. Don survived the Galley Deck radar room – which took a hard hit from one of the 500lb bombs going off directly under its deck.
He and 4 others to made it to the flight deck, contrary to the US Navy official reports.
Don and the others were forced by many explosions into a gun sponson and that became a blow torch from the hanger deck. He and others were were blown overboard. He said the heals of his shoes were knocked off.
After a few hours in a submerged floating raft he and many other shipmates
were picked up by the U.S.S. Hunt, a destroyer.

After the war Don took up carpentry. In 1950, Don and Marjorie
divorced and Don married Phyllis Long. Don then joined the Colton Fire
Department in 1948 and was eventually promoted to Assistant Fire Chief. He
retired from this position in 1976. He enjoyed building things and spent
the last years of his life doing this.

As a nation we have been focused on the anniversary of 9/11 and speak of
it’s hero’s. Now let us remember this man, Don Dunniway. He is our
nation’s hero from a generation ago.  This generation, as it has been
said, ‘when so many went forward to give us all of our today’s for all
of their tomorrow’s’. Well, another one has passed on from this

If you ever met Don Dunniway you would know he was a quiet man, a
leader, a Christian, an American. But above all of this, he was  ‘dad’.
The strengths he possessed are ‘his gifts and legacy’ to his three sons
and the generations to follow in his footsteps. He will be greatly

Donald will be buried in the Mt. View Cemetery in San Bernardino,
California, next to his wife Phyllis who passed away on January 17th of
this year.


Assistant Fire Chief, Donald Howard Dunniway, Colton, CA Fire Department. 1974