Newton Henry Mason

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Newton Henry Mason
Born (1918-12-24)24 December 1918
New York, New York
Died 8 May 1942(1942-05-08) (aged 23) (Missing in action)
Coral Sea
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1940–1942
Rank US-O1 insignia.svg Ensign
Awards Distinguished Flying Cross

Newton Henry Mason (24 December 1918 – May 1942) was a decorated United States Navy fighter pilot of World War II who was killed in action at the Battle of the Coral Sea.

Mason was born in New York City on 24 December 1918. He enlisted as a seaman in the United States Naval Reserve on 7 November 1940 and on 10 February 1941 was appointed an aviation cadet. Assigned to U.S. Navy Fighting Squadron 3 (VF-3) aboard the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga as a Grumman F4F Wildcat fighter pilot in September 1941, he reported to VF-3 while it was stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Ewa, Territory of Hawaii, in January 1942 after Saratoga had been damaged by a Japanese submarine torpedo.[1]

Later reassigned to Fighting Squadron 2 (VF-2), Ensign Mason's first and only aerial combat occurred during the Battle of the Coral Sea on 8 May 1942, when he disappeared during action with Imperial Japanese Navy aircraft and was declared missing in action, probably the victim of Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighters from the Japanese aircraft carrier Shōkaku.[2]

Mason was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his skill and courage in battle.


The U.S. Navy destroyer escort USS Mason (DE-529), in commission from 1944 to 1945, was named in his honor. The guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG-87), commissioned in 2003, is indirectly named for him, as the ship is named for two previous ships named USS Mason, one of which is USS Mason (DE-529).[3]


  1. ^ Lundstrom, p. 64.
  2. ^ Lundstrom, p. 333, 618-619.
  3. ^ USS Mason (DDG 87)