Tribute to John Daynne Afton
Branch of Service: US Navy
Ship: USS Hamlin AV-15
Job: Electrician's Mate 2nd Class - Internal Communication
Specialty: Gyro Compass
John Daynne Afton was born 21 March 1924 in Bruno Township near Andover, Butler County, Kansas. He attended Andover public schools through the fifth grade. The family moved to Benton, Kansas in 1936. He began school in Benton in the sixth grade, graduating from Benton High School in 1942. He was employed by the Boeing Aircraft Corp., Wichita, Kansas from September 1942 to June of 1943. Since most of his friends were already gone to the service he enlisted on 10 June 1943 and was inducted in the United States Navy at the United States Induction Station in Kansas City, Missouri.
His training included boot camp at the United States Naval Training Station at Farragut, Idaho where he graduated with Company 424-32, Regiment 1, Battalion 4. He then was assigned to Camp Hill of the United States Naval Training Station in Farragut, Idaho where he received his electrical training; and then was assigned to the United States Naval Training Station in San Diego, California, where on 4 April 1944 he completed his training at the Gyro Compass School.
After graduation John was stationed in Bremerton, Washington where he and his shipmates were assigned and became plank owners of the USS Hamlin (AV -15). After a successful shakedown voyage; John set sail from San Diego, California and arrived at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii where the USS Hamlin took on supplies. On 29 August 1944, John as a crew member of the USS Hamlin started his tour of duty as a part of the Third Fleet with stops at the Eniwetok Atoll, September 1944; Saipan, September 1944; Saipan October 1944; Ulithi December 1944; Guam, February 1945; Iwo Jima, March 1945; Kerama Retto, March - July 1945; Okinawa, July - August, 1945 and Tokyo Bay, 28 August, 1945. John received three battle stars for Iwo Jima, Okinawa and Saipan battles, the World War II Victory Medal and the Philippine Liberation Medal and six ribbons. The ship was also in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese signed the Declaration of surrender to the Allied Forces on 2 September 1945. John returned to the United States in December 1945 and was discharged at the United States Naval Separation Center in St. Louis, Missouri on 23 April 1946 with the rank of Electrician Mate Second Class Gyro.
John became employed by The Coleman Company, Wichita, Kansas where he worked forty three years, retiring in April 1989.
John Daynne Afton and Corrine Latta were married 3 September 1948 in Wichita, Kansas. They moved to Benton, Kansas to build a new home in March 1951. Three children were born to them: Alan Daynne, 1951, Judith Ann, 1953, and Michael John, 1956. John and Corrine were involved with community events such as: girl's softball and boy's baseball, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. John served one term on the City Council of Benton and as mayor one term. He was a member of the Benton Lions Club and a lifetime member of the American Legion and VFW.
John and Corrine recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.
Submitted by John Afton (himself)