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SMN James Wesley Dye, Jr

SMN James Wesley Dye, Jr

Mount Ephraim, Camden County, New Jersey, USA
Death 25 Feb 1945 (aged 19)
Burial Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA
Plot Section N, Grave 1291
Memorial ID 9207275 · View Source
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Aviation Radioman 3rd class, US Navy, captured on Chichi Jima Island (in the Bonin Islands Group) when his Avenger airplane was shot down on February 18, 1945 during World War II. Assigned to the carrier USS Bennington, he was on an Avenger crew with Ensign Bob King (pilot) and gunner Grady York. Dye and York bailed out, and King managed to fly the plane (minus most of its left wing) back to the USS Bennington. On February 25, 1945, Jimmy was executed by beheading on orders of Japanese Navy Captain Shizuo Yoshii. Parts of his body were removed and later served as food to high ranking Japanese officers, as part of the spirit warrior indoctrination (the Japanese Army on Chichi Jima had plenty of food). After the war, his remains were recovered by American soldiers, and returned to Hawaii. Captain Yoshii, the Japanese officer who ordered his death and cannibalization, was tried for War Crimes in 1947, executed by hanging, and buried in an unmarked grave on the island of Guam (where the trial was held). Jimmy was friendly and outgoing, and well liked by his fellow sailors. His life and death are described in the book, "Flyboys" by James Bradley. His fiance, Gloria Nields, had given him a white scarf, which he always wore when flying; it became a souvenir of a Japanese lieutenant.

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  • Created by: Kit and Morgan Benson
  • Added: 31 Jul 2004
  • Find A Grave Memorial 9207275
  • Zuzu*s Petals
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for SMN James Wesley Dye, Jr (27 Nov 1925–25 Feb 1945), Find A Grave Memorial no. 9207275, citing National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA ; Maintained by Kit and Morgan Benson (contributor 46483611) .