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Ens Basil Charles Pearce, Jr
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Birth: unknown
East Palatka
Putnam County
Florida, USA
Death: Oct. 25, 1944, At Sea

Last Rank
Last Primary Designator/NEC
117X-Unrestricted Line Officer - in training for Submarine Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
Last Duty Station
1944-1944, USS Tang (SS-306)
Service Years
1943 - 1944
Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Order of the Golden Dragon
Panama Canal

Rank/Rate Ensign
Service Number 0-270818
Birth Date June 4, 1921
From East Palatka, Florida
Decorations Silver Star, Purple Heart
Submarine USS Tang (SS-306)
Loss Date October 25, 1944
Location Sunk in north end of Formosa Strait
Circumstances Sunk by circular run of own torpedo
Basil was born in Wilton, Connecticut.

Mr. & Mrs. Basil Charles Pearce Sr., East Palatka, Florida; letter from the Secretary of the Navy on the loss of their son:

“Your son, Ensign Basil Charles Pearce, Jr. (1921-1944), U.S. Naval Reserve, has been carried on the official records of the Navy Department in the status of missing as of 25 October 1944 xxx board the USS Tang when that vessel was struck by its own torpedo and sank in the Formosa Strait.

“On the night of 24-25 October 1944 the Tang was conducting a war patrol in the Formosa Strait in an area approximately midway between Amoy and Fuchow on the China Coast. The submarine had contacted an enemy convoy and had launched several torpedoes scoring numerous hits. At approximately 2:00 a.m. the last torpedo was fired from the stern tubes while the submarine was on the surface. This torpedo made an erratic run, turned, and struck the stern of the Tang. The resulting explosion was very violent and the vessel sank by the stern in about 45 seconds. After the sinking, personnel remaining on board in unflooded compartments, were able to level off the submarine and in spite of the presence of Japanese patrol vessels, thirteen managed to escape. Of this thirteen only nine were able to stay afloat until they were picked up by one of the Japanese escort vessels which was rescuing Japanese troops and personnel from the ships sunk by the Tang during the night. The nearest land to the position where the Tang sank was Okseu Island about nine miles to the south. The immediate vicinity was searched by Japanese vessels for several hours in an attempt to rescue their own personnel. It is regretted that your son was not among the survivors rescued by these Japanese vessels and no additional information concerning him has been received by the Navy Department.

“In view of the length of time that has now elapsed since your son was officially determined to be missing in action, because of the strong probability that he lost his life in the sinking of the Tang and in view of the fact that his name has not appeared on any lists or reports of personnel liberated from Japanese prisoner of war camps, I am reluctantly forced to the conclusion that he is deceased.

“I know what little solace the formal and written word can be to help meet the burden of your loss, but in spite of that knowledge, I cannot refrain from saying very simply, that I am sorry. It is hoped that you may find comfort in the thought that your son gave his life for his country, upholding the highest traditions of the Navy.“Sincerely yours, James Forrestal.”
Palatka Daily News, Thursday, 3 Jan 1946.

Memorial services will be held Sunday afternoon at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church with Rev. George Alexander officiating. A fraternal service will also be conducted by members of the BPOE #1232, it was announced. Basil Pearce was born in Wilton, Conn., Jun 4, 1921, but had lived his entire life in this city. He graduated from the Riverside Military Academy at Gainesville, Ga., in 1938 and from Antioch College, Yellow Springs, 1943. He was assigned to the Prairie State Training vessel in the Hudson River and commissioned an ensign in the USNR in 1943. After taking overseas training at Bermuda, he volunteered for submarine training school and received training at New London Conn. He left for duty in the Pacific in April 1944 and was lost on his second patrol aboard the Submarine Tang on October 26 off Formosa in the China Sea. W. Carl Davis & Son was in charge of arrangements. Besides the parents a sister, Mrs. Nancy Johnson, Wilton, Conn, survives. Palatka Daily News, Tuesday, 15 Jan 1946.

Family links: 
  Basil C. Pearce (1894 - 1968)
  Anne H. Pearce (1891 - 1965)
  Basil Charles Pearce (____ - 1944)
  Nancy Anne Pearce Johnson (____ - 2007)*
*Calculated relationship
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial
Metro Manila
National Capital Region, Philippines
Plot: Tablets of the missing
Created by: Jeff Hall
Record added: Aug 03, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 114868125
Ens Basil Charles Pearce, Jr
Added by: Jeff Hall
Ens Basil Charles Pearce, Jr
Added by: Dave Jones
Ens Basil Charles Pearce, Jr
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Paul Hyde Schott
Photos may be scaled.
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Sailor rest your oar.
- Dave Jones
 Added: Jan. 17, 2013

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