From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

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 sank 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

From the Class of 1943 anniversary book "25 years later…":

Jug was born on 15 May 1921 in Evansville, Indiana. He was appointed from California and entered the Academy on 17 July 1939. After graduation he reported to the cruiser USS VINCENNES and immediately saw action in the South Pacific. He shares the distinction with Walt Nock in being the first classmate to fall in combat. Jug died on 9 August 1942 when the VINCENNES was sunk during the First Battle of Savo Island. Jug was entitled to wear the Purple Heart, the American Area Defense Service Medal with Fleet Clasp and the Asiatic Pacific Area Campaign. He was survived by his mother Mrs. Dorothy Josephine Diirck who at the time Jug died resided at 329 North Westmoreland Avenue, Los Angeles, California.


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

Class of 1943

Arthur is one of 84 members of the Class of 1943 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.