By Seth Daniel
The Bunker Hill Day Parade Committee and the US Navy Band Northeast announced this week that they will be presenting a special tribute to fallen Ensign John J. Doherty, killed in action in 1942, at Doherty Park during the Parade on June 11 – a park named after the fallen hero.
Coordinators Robert Gillen and Arthur Hurley reported that the Navy Band will be in this year’s parade, and that they will make a special stop at Doherty Park. There they will play an ode to Doherty as a special delegation of Mayor Martin Walsh, Chief Marshal Robert Beckwith, and other important dignitaries.
“This is great news about the Navy Band Northeast’s plan to present a very special tribute to the memory of Ensign John J. Doherty,” read a statement from the Bunker Hill Day Parade Committee. “We want to thank all concerned for doing this. For both our Navy families and many other citizens of Charlestown, this will be the highlight of the parade.”
Ensign Doherty died while piloting his bomber during air raids in the South Pacific, receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross.
A memoriam for Doherty explains that he died while flying his bomber into heavy enemy fire while executing an attack on the Marshall Islands and Taros Island. He executed the attack while under heavy anti-aircraft and machine gun fire from ships and from shore.
Before going down, he scored direct hits on his objectives.
“His inspiring conduct and actions were in keeping with the finest traditions of the Naval Service as he gave his life for his country,” read the citation from the Navy after his death.