From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

James Spencer '43

Date of birth: August 30, 1919

Date of death: July 30, 1945

Age: 25

Lucky Bag

From the 1943 Lucky Bag:


James was lost on July 30, 1945 when USS Indianapolis (CA 35) was sunk by a Japanese submarine.

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

Doug was born on 30 August 1919 in Washington, D.C. He was appointed from Indiana and entered the Academy on 6 June 1939. After graduation, he attended various schools and then reported to the cruiser USS RENO in December 1942 in connection with fitting out and commissioning. The RENO participated in the Philippine Campaign while Doug was aboard. In November he was ordered to flight school at Ottunwa, Iowa which he left in May 1945 for duty aboard the cruiser USS INDIANAPOLIS. The INDIANAPOLIS steaming singly at night was sunk by a well aimed torpedo spread on 29 July 1945 fired by the Japanese submarine I-58. This was the last major U.S. ship sunk by the Japanese and with it was lost our last classmate to die in World War II, Doug Spencer. He wore the Purple Heart, American Defense Service Medal with Fleet Clasp, Asiatic-Pacific Area Campaign Medal with two bronze stars, and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon. He was survived by his parents, Rear Admiral and Mrs. Douglas Ancorum Spencer, USN (Ret) who at Doug's death resided at 4000 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, D. C.

James' father and mother are buried in Arlington National Cemetery; he has a memory marker on their headstone.

Class of 1943

James 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.