James Wesley Stuver was born in St. Clair, Kansas on April 18, 1925 to his parents Ora and Bessie Stuver. He had 3 older siblings. His father, Ora, died in 1936.
He enlisted in the Navy in Kansas City on August 13, 1943. He reported aboard the USS Hovey on April 16, 1944. His ship, an old converted 4 stacker, was torpedoed and sunk on January 7, 1945, and he was confirmed KIA on March 9, 1945. Stuver was initially listed as missing in action. The action that claimed the Hovey was in Lingayen Gulf in the Philippines.
The cause of the sinking was a torpedo launched by a Jap plane about an hour before sunrise. In a letter to Mrs. Suver dated March 24, 1945, from Lt. Ben Cole, USS Hovey commander, he describes the action as follows:
"The USS HOVEY was attacked in Lingayen Gulf before daybreak on January 7, 1945 by one or more enemy aircraft. After making several passes at the ship, one of the planes launched a torpedo which struck the ship aft on the starboard side. The terrific explosion broke the ship in half, split her bottom, and caused her to sink in about three minutes. James, whose battle station was in the after damage repair party, was standing in the immediate vicinity when the explosion occurred. He was not seen by anyone after the hit. Rescue vessels commenced searching for survivors immediately and continued the search for about two hours, one of which was during daylight. The sea was calm, visibility was excellent and I am convinced that no survivors were left on the surface of the water."
The group includes his officially engraved solid brooch Type 2 Purple Heart in its short titled case and shipping box including the attached Registered Pack label. Also included is his Navy Unit Commendation ribbon and a copy of the award letter. His complete National Archives file with copies of poignant letters from his mother the Navy Department, is included.
During Stuver's stateside training, he had a couple of "incidents" that caused him to stand at a Captain's Mast and a court martial. He was apparently a free spirit. Copies are included.
SOLD to a collector 04-2021