From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall
Jump to: navigation, search

Birthdate & Date of Loss

Date of birth: April 13, 1918
Date of death: April 16, 1945
Age: 27

Lucky Bag

1940 Preston LB.jpg

From the 1940 Lucky Bag:


Lewisburg, West Virginia

When we think of Tate we are in doubt as to whether he should be called a briny soldier, or a military salt. The latter is perhaps more fitting, even though he spent eleven of his first eighteen years at Greenbrier, the West Point of Lewisburg, West Virginia. Tater became enmeshed in naval red tape, while taking the entrance exams to qualify as one of Uncle Sam's Pampered Pets. He later found himself, bewildered and confused, in our midst, instead of at the Point with his older brother. His beaming countenance, and willingness to help, together with his exemplary "I love it here" was a guiding light for 3052.


Bill was lost when USS Bryant (DD 665) was severely damaged by a kamikaze on April 16, 1945.

His parents were listed as next of kin. Bill is buried in West Virginia.

Silver Star

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Commander James Tate Preston (NSN: 0-85299), United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity as Executive Officer on board the U.S.S. BRYANT (DD-665), in action against enemy Japanese aircraft off Okinawa Shima in the Ryukyu Islands, 15 and 16 April 1945. Demonstrating remarkable skill and efficiency as evaluator in the Combat Information Center during repeated enemy aerial attack as the BRYANT proceeded to the assistance of the U.S.S. LAFFEY, Lieutenant Commander Preston, fully aware of the strength and force of the enemy's onslaught, maintained the CIC at maximum operating efficiency with the result that at no time was the ship attacked without prior warning. Persevering and determined, he continued his effective direction until killed at his post by the explosion of a bomb when an enemy plane struck the ship. His excellent evaluation and dissemination of information was a vital factor in conning the ship and bringing the guns to bear to afford the maximum amount of protection and his steadfast courage and unwavering devotion in the face of tremendous opposition was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

General Orders: Board Serial 035 (May 22, 1945)
Action Date: April 15 & 16, 1945
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Company: Executive Officer
Division: U.S.S. Bryant (DD-665)

Class Navigation

Class of 1940
James is one of 89 members of the Class of 1940 in Memorial Hall.
<< Henry Graham '40 Edward Degarmo '40 >>