Donald Tracy – Navy Veteran Death and Obituary – Cause of Death
Donald Tracy, passed away today October 1 at the age of 96. Tracy was drafted during the height of WWII and chose to enter the Navy, following in his father’s footsteps. Entering service on May 31, 1944, he was first sent to basic training and then to fire control school, and upon graduation achieved the rank of Fire Controlman 3rd Class.
He was then assigned to the USS Vella Gulf (CVE-111), a newly commissioned aircraft carrier. The ship was sent to the South Pacific carrying a Marine air squadron prepared to engage the Japanese in the late months of the war.
While onboard, Tracy was stationed on the bow of the ship on the catwalk, three feet below the flight deck, operating a 40mm gun position. During the last weeks of the war in the Pacific Theater, he recalls opening fire on Japanese “Zero” aircraft and shooting down at least three.
WWII ended on September 2, 1945, after the United States dropped two atomic bombs on the Japanese mainland. But for Tracy, his visions of war were far from over. He and several other crew members from the USS Vella Gulf were selected to visit Nagasaki, one of the bombed cities. The experience of walking through the devastation stuck with him more than anything else.
Tracy was discharged from the Navy in late 1945 and married his sweetheart shortly after returning to the US. They were married for over 70 years.
He has passed away unexpectedly, leaving family, closer relatives and other loved ones in total devastations and sadness. Circumstances surrounding his sudden demise have not been made known to the public at the time of filing this report.
We ask that at this time, you allow the family to take the appropriate and needed time, to make preparations and grieve as family.
We ask that you call ahead, to the family to respect this time of bereavement instead of just dropping in or passing by the family home. All official arrangements, will follow at a later date.
Friends, colleagues, officials and veterans are sending their condolences and tributes to the family in respect of his death. He will greatly be missed by everyone.