Navy Memorabilia

Carr, James R.

Rank: Shipfitter, 3rd Class
Serial Number: 8286653
Military Branch: USS Birmingham, CL-62
Origin: Kentucky
Date of Death: 1944-10-24
Manila American Cemetery
Featured: No

James Robert Carr was born April 26, 1923 in Greenup, Kentucky. His parents were Frank and Amanda (Williams) Carr. The 1930 census shows that he had 3 brothers, Thurman, Lloyd, and Joe. His home address at the time of his service was Warnock, Kentucky where he lived with his wife, Virginia Lee Carr. According to his family, he and Virginia gave birth to a daughter, Patricia Loue, on July 26, 1943. He enlisted September 16, 1943 at age 20. He trained at the Naval Training Station at Great Lakes. On December 11, 1943 he reported aboard the USS Louisville. At some time before he shipped out, he married Virginia Lee Bartram from Greenup. At the time of his death, she was pregnant with his child that was born after his death. On February 1, 1944, he was "commended for aggresive action in effecting repairs and isolating damage in the face of certain hazards and handicaps following casualties caused by a near miss while engaged in operations in enemy waters." He was transferred to the USS Solace for medical treatment on February 3, 1944. He was transferred to Navy Base Hospital No. 8 in Pearl Harbor. He was then assigned to the USS Birmingham on February 25, 1944. Accompanying paperwork shows that Birmingham was engaged in major actions against the enemy from May to June 1944.

As a member of a damage control party, Carr was killed in action helping extinguish fires caused when a bomb exploded on the USS Princeton. A subsequent explosion on the USS Princeton caused damage and death to those on the Birmingham that was alongside. Damage was so extensive that the cruiser was sent back to the west coast for extensive repairs. The Birmingham was awarded the Navy Unit Citation for this action.

The group includes Carr's officially engraved posthumous Type 1 Purple Heart with its small purple box as issued by the US Mint. This medal was sent to Virginia Le Carr in January, 1945 at her home in Greenup. A lot of paperwork showing Carr's service record accompanies the group. Also included is a copy of a condolence letter from the Commanding Officer of the USS Birmingham, Captain Thomas Inglis, to Mrs. Carr dated November 8, 1944. In the letter he indicated that Carr's death was "instantaneous and without suffering". The accompanying Certificate of Death shows that he suffered "multiple extreme injuries", and was buried at sea.

SOLD to a collector 04-2021 

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