From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

James O'Rourke '37

Date of birth: December 26, 1914

Date of death: December 15, 1944

Age: 29

Lucky Bag

From the 1937 Lucky Bag:


James was taken as a prisoner of war following the fall of Corregidor and was killed on December 15, 1944 when American aircraft mistakenly attacked the POW ship (Oryoku Maru) he was aboard.

From Find A Grave: "He was held at Japanese POW Camp 1, Cabanatuan 1-2-3, Nueva Province, Luzon, Philippines 15-121."

Unable to find which unit he had been with prior to his capture. (The April 1, 1941 Navy Directory has him aboard USS Guam (PG 43), a ship that had been renamed and re-designated a few months before. In any event, the ship is the only US Navy ship to be surrendered… but that occurred in China, and the officers and crew were held in Shanghai, so James has to have been transferred or traveling for some reason at the outbreak of the war.)

His wife was listed as next of kin. James has a memory marker in Massachusetts.

Class of 1937

James is one of 45 members of the Class of 1937 on Virtual Memorial Hall.