From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Francis Riley '42

Date of birth: September 5, 1918

Date of death: November 7, 1944

Age: 26

Lucky Bag

From the 1942 Lucky Bag:


Francis was lost when USS Albacore (SS 218) was sunk by a mine on November 7, 1944 while on patrol north of Hokkaido.

His wife, Lillian Joan Riley, was listed as next of kin.

From John Duresky, a historian from La Crosse, Wisconsin, via email on October 21, 2019:

Found some old La Crosse Tribune newspaper articles. In the April 7, 1945 article reporting his death (news of KIA was slow back then, in particular if men were first listed as missing), it says he was first on USS Helena from the time he graduated until three weeks before it was sunk. Helena was damaged at Pearl Harbor, saw a lot of action there, went to drydock for repairs, then saw a lot more action I believe while he would have been on it. Helena was sunk July 6, 1943, so that puts Lt Riley in submarine service around May 15, 1943. The Albacore hit the carrier Taiho with torpedoes on June 6, 1944, so I would say there is a high probability that Lt Riley was on board during that mission which was incredibly gutsy when you read about it.

Lt Riley graduated in 1935 from Aquinas High School, a private Catholic school.

Class of 1942

Francis is one of 82 members of the Class of 1942 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.