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 James Wright

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James Wright

Birth
Death
unknown
Burial
Lost at War. Specifically: Shanghai, China
Memorial ID
204388908 View Source

James served as a Waiter, S.S. President Harrison, U.S. Merchant Marine during World War II.

He resided in Berkeley, California prior to the war.

On the morning of December 4, 1941, with a crew of 154 plus 1 passenger, the S.S. President Harrison was en-route from Manila, Philippine Islands to Ching-wang-tao, China with orders to pick up around 300 Marines of the Peking and Tientsin Legation Guard and some 1400 tons of equipment and return to Manila.

In the morning of December 7th, while still en-route , they received a Radio Message that the Japanese had bombed "Pearl Harbor". The ship's master, Orel A. Pierson, at that point decided to make for the extreme north Pacific and eventually back to some safe Pacific Coast port.

However they were soon discovered by a Japanese bomber and a Japanese mail boat. Soon after that they were also being tracked by a Japanese Destroyer. Master Pierson's first objective was to protect his crew. His second objective was to do his best to disable the S.S. President Harrison so that the Japanese could not capture and use it .... and he decided to try to run it a ground which he did on Shaweishan Island.

The crew manned the life boats and started the process of getting everyone off the ship. One the the life boats was caught up in the port propeller's wake and capsized with the loss of three of the crew.

The crew that made it to the Island all became POW's of the Japanese army.

James "Died While A POW" of the Japanese Army in Shanghai, China during the war.

He was posthumously awarded the Mariner's Medal, Combat Bar with a Star, and the Mariner's POW Medal.

Note: The S.S. President Harrison later became the Japanese ship Kachidoki Maru and was later sunk by the American submarine U.S.S. Pampanito on September 12, 1944 while carrying 750 allied POW's. Many of those POW's were killed in this sinking.

( Bio by: Russ Pickett )

James served as a Waiter, S.S. President Harrison, U.S. Merchant Marine during World War II.

He resided in Berkeley, California prior to the war.

On the morning of December 4, 1941, with a crew of 154 plus 1 passenger, the S.S. President Harrison was en-route from Manila, Philippine Islands to Ching-wang-tao, China with orders to pick up around 300 Marines of the Peking and Tientsin Legation Guard and some 1400 tons of equipment and return to Manila.

In the morning of December 7th, while still en-route , they received a Radio Message that the Japanese had bombed "Pearl Harbor". The ship's master, Orel A. Pierson, at that point decided to make for the extreme north Pacific and eventually back to some safe Pacific Coast port.

However they were soon discovered by a Japanese bomber and a Japanese mail boat. Soon after that they were also being tracked by a Japanese Destroyer. Master Pierson's first objective was to protect his crew. His second objective was to do his best to disable the S.S. President Harrison so that the Japanese could not capture and use it .... and he decided to try to run it a ground which he did on Shaweishan Island.

The crew manned the life boats and started the process of getting everyone off the ship. One the the life boats was caught up in the port propeller's wake and capsized with the loss of three of the crew.

The crew that made it to the Island all became POW's of the Japanese army.

James "Died While A POW" of the Japanese Army in Shanghai, China during the war.

He was posthumously awarded the Mariner's Medal, Combat Bar with a Star, and the Mariner's POW Medal.

Note: The S.S. President Harrison later became the Japanese ship Kachidoki Maru and was later sunk by the American submarine U.S.S. Pampanito on September 12, 1944 while carrying 750 allied POW's. Many of those POW's were killed in this sinking.

( Bio by: Russ Pickett )

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