From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

James Sommers '42

Date of birth: October 16, 1921

Date of death: November 13, 1942

Age: 21

Lucky Bag

From the 1942 Lucky Bag:


James was lost when USS Barton (DD 599) was sunk on November 13, 1942 during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. The wartime service of Barton and her officers and crew are detailed in this wonderful history.

Navy and Marine Corps Medal

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy and Marine Corps Medal (Posthumously) to Lieutenant, Junior Grade James Barkley Sommers (NSN: 0-111654), United States Navy, for heroism at New Caledonia on 30 October 1942. While in charge of a boat attempting to rescue officers and men from a plane wrecked on a treacherous reef, Lieutenant Sommers gamely swam a line to the stricken craft, enabling his men and an accompanying boat to rescue without injury to either the survivors or the boat crews.

General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 318 (September 1943)
Action Date: October 30, 1942
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Junior Grade

Many more details of this event are available in this USS Barton (DD 599) history.

Class of 1942

James is one of 82 members of the Class of 1942 on Virtual Memorial Hall.