C. Markland Kelly, Jr., one of 307 losses in the Battle of Midway
Ensign Charles Markland Kelly, Jr.
September 22, 1916 – June 4, 1942
C. Markland Kelly, Jr. gave his life for his country at the epic Battle of Midway during World War II, which took place 77 years ago this week.
Kelly had been a standout lacrosse player throughout his Baltimore school career. Known as Mark, Kelly’s father owned Kelly Buick, at the time located at the corner of Charles Street and Mt. Royal Avenue. The elder Kelly was also president of the Baltimore City Council from 1943–1951. After his death, his father established the the C. Markland Kelly Memorial Foundation, which has recognized outstanding high school and collegiate lacrosse players each year since the 1940s.
Kelly, Jr. attended Friends, Gilman and McDonogh schools. He excelled at lacrosse as a goalie and was an All-Maryland selection. At graduation from McDonogh, he received the school’s highest honor, the “Dr. J.M.T. Finney Character Award.”
Kelly, Jr. went on to the University of Maryland and continued to excel in lacrosse. In 1940, as a sophomore, he was named to the Baltimore Sun’s “All Maryland College Lacrosse Team.”
In the fall of 1940, with talk of war in the air, Kelly, Jr. left college and was accepted into the Navy aviation cadet program, receiving his wings in August 1941. He flew a F4F Wildcat fighter. His orders sent him to the aircraft carrier, USS Hornet (CV-8).
Ensign Kelly flew in support of the dive bombers from the USS Hornet on June 4, 1942 during the Battle of Midway. Ensign Kelly was lost in the Pacific. During that conflict, US forces sunk four Japanese aircraft carriers, greatly reducing Japan’s naval fleet. Midway was the turning point of the war in the Pacific.
Charles Markland Kelly, Sr. honored his son by establishing the C. Markland Kelly, Jr. Memorial Foundation. The foundation provides funding for recognizing outstanding high school and college lacrosse players. The foundation also presents grants to schools and community organizations.
A cenotaph memorial gravestone is located in Loudon Park Cemetery.
Towson Recreational Council
Who Was Ensign C. Markland Kelly?
Photographs reproduced from The Last Flight of Ensign C. Markland Kelly, Junior, USNR by Bowen P. Weisheit, Major, USMCR (Ret.). Published by The Ensign C. Markland Kelly, Jr. Memorial Foundation, Inc., Baltimore, Md. (Second Ed. 1996.)