JAMES D. SPENCER, LT, USN

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:

1943 Spencer LB.jpg

JAMES DOUGLAS SPENCER

Camden, South Carolina

As may be easily inferred, "Doug" is a staunch Confederate, and plebe year he spent many hours explaining why he couldn't learn "Marching Through Georgia." His interest in foreign affairs and in national events is considerable and the extent of his knowledge is indicated by the fact that plebe year he won the Naval Order of the United States Junior Prize in Current History. On the afternoons when he manages to overcome the lure of the radiator squad he can be observed playing a better than average game of golf or tennis.


The Class of 1943 was graduated in June 1942 due to World War II. The entirety of 2nd class (junior) year was removed from the curriculum.

1943 Spencer LB.jpg

JAMES DOUGLAS SPENCER

Camden, South Carolina

As may be easily inferred, "Doug" is a staunch Confederate, and plebe year he spent many hours explaining why he couldn't learn "Marching Through Georgia." His interest in foreign affairs and in national events is considerable and the extent of his knowledge is indicated by the fact that plebe year he won the Naval Order of the United States Junior Prize in Current History. On the afternoons when he manages to overcome the lure of the radiator squad he can be observed playing a better than average game of golf or tennis.


The Class of 1943 was graduated in June 1942 due to World War II. The entirety of 2nd class (junior) year was removed from the curriculum.

Loss

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.

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