From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

James Ray '38

Date of birth: April 10, 1916

Date of death: August 9, 1942

Age: 26

Lucky Bag

From the 1938 Lucky Bag:


James was lost on August 9, 1942, when USS Jarvis (DD 393) was sunk by Japanese aircraft near Guadalcanal.

Other Information

From researcher Kathy Franz:

James graduated in 1933 from Western High School. Cadets ’31, ’32, ’33; Chevrons Club ’32; Officers Club ’32. IS: A talented young man and some “Kaydet.” FAMOUS FOR: Swimming, playing the guitar, and giving young ladies piano lessons.

His wife was listed as next of kin.

His father was a member of the Class of 1914 and retired as a rear admiral.


Related Articles

James was best man in the wedding of James Mayes '37, who was lost in an air crash in 1940.

Navy Directories & Officer Registers

The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.

The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.

The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.

January 1939

Ensign, USS Mississippi

Others at this command:

October 1939

Ensign, USS Jarvis

June 1940

Ensign, USS Jarvis

November 1940

Ensign, USS Jarvis

Others at this command:

April 1941

Ensign, USS Jarvis

Others at this command:

Class of 1938

James is one of 72 members of the Class of 1938 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.