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Arthur Diirck, Jr. '43

Date of birth: May 15, 1921

Date of death: August 9, 1942

Age: 21

Lucky Bag

From the 1943 Lucky Bag:


A picture of Arthur's Purple Heart, held by a collector as of 2011.

From Find A Grave:

Diirck graduated from the US Naval Academy (appointed out of the 14th California District) in June, 1942. In July, he was assigned to the USS VINCENNES on temporary aviation duty. On the night of August 8-9, 1942, the First Battle of Savo Island began when the VINCENNES was attacked by the Japanese 8th Fleet commanded by Vice Admiral Gunichi Mikawa.

The battle took place on August 8–9, 1942 and was the first major naval engagement of the Guadalcanal campaign; the first of several naval battles in the straits later named Ironbottom Sound, near the island of Guadalcanal. At approximately 0200 hours, Japanese search lights lit the VINCENNES up in the night and opened up a salvo of eight-inch armor-piercing shells that racked the VINCENNES. Soon the ship was struck with by torpedoes and was dead in the water. The captain ordered the crew to abandon ship and the VINCENNES soon rolled over and samk in 500 fathoms of water. The battle has often been cited as the worst defeat in the history of the United States Navy. Approximately 332 crew members were killed in the sinking; one of those was Arthur Diirck.

At the time of Arthur's death, his parents were living at 329 N. Westmoreland Avenue, Los Angeles, California.

Ensign Arthur Diirck, Jr., O-165430, earned the following badges/decorations for his service during World War II:

  • Purple Heart Medal
  • Combat Action Ribbon
  • American Defense Medal
  • Asiatic-Pacific Theater of Operations Campaign Medal with one bronze battle/campaign star
  • World War II Victory Medal


His mother was the sponsor of USS Klondike (AD 22).

Memorial Hall Error

Arthur is correctly identified as "Jr." on the killed in action panel in the front of Memorial Hall; on the Class of 1943 panel, however, this suffix is missing.

Class of 1943

Arthur is one of 83 members of the Class of 1943 on Virtual Memorial Hall.