From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

James Preston '40

Date of birth: April 13, 1918

Date of death: April 16, 1945

Age: 27

Lucky Bag

From the 1940 Lucky Bag:


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 of 1940

James is one of 91 members of the Class of 1940 on Virtual Memorial Hall.