JAMES B. ROAK, LT, USN

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James Roak '42

Date of birth: September 29, 1919

Date of death: November 16, 1943

Age: 24

Lucky Bag

From the 1942 Lucky Bag:

1942 Roak LB.jpg

JAMES BONNYMAN ROAK

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Jim, Squeegee, Rumdum

After wasting the early part of his life chasing jackrabbits in New Mexico, Squeegee ventured into civilization to accomplish greater achievements. The experience at chasing jackrabbits earned for him a top position on the cross country team. His class standing has proved him to be a man mentally as well as physically. Squeegee's quiet good nature and subtle wit have won him many friends.

Cross Country 4, 3, 2, 1, N*; Wrestling 4, 2, w42t; Track 4, 3, 2, 42; Stars 4; 1 Stripe.


The Class of 1942 graduated on December 19, 1941, less than two weeks after the United States entered World War II. The class had previously been scheduled to graduate in February 1942.

1942 Roak LB.jpg

JAMES BONNYMAN ROAK

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Jim, Squeegee, Rumdum

After wasting the early part of his life chasing jackrabbits in New Mexico, Squeegee ventured into civilization to accomplish greater achievements. The experience at chasing jackrabbits earned for him a top position on the cross country team. His class standing has proved him to be a man mentally as well as physically. Squeegee's quiet good nature and subtle wit have won him many friends.

Cross Country 4, 3, 2, 1, N*; Wrestling 4, 2, w42t; Track 4, 3, 2, 42; Stars 4; 1 Stripe.


The Class of 1942 graduated on December 19, 1941, less than two weeks after the United States entered World War II. The class had previously been scheduled to graduate in February 1942.

Loss

James was lost when USS Corvina (SS 226) was sunk on November 16, 1943 by a Japanese submarine.

Other Information

From researcher Kathy Franz:

James was born in Kanab, Utah. He graduated from Santa Fe high school in 1937 as an honor student and spent one year at New Mexico School of Mines. He was nominated to the Naval Academy by U. S. Senator Dennis Chavez.

He was first assigned to duty in the Pacific and was an antiaircraft officer aboard a warship engaged in attacking Japanese positions. He then attended submarine school graduating in December, 1942. He was serving as a torpedo and gunnery officer on a submarine in the Atlantic theater and was then assigned to the newly commissioned Corvina.

James' wife Norma Evelyn lived in San Antonio, Texas. His father John C. was a forester for the Forestry Service, and in September 1944, he was assistant superintendent of the Gila National Forest. James’ brother Jack served in the U. S. Army and was a Liberator pilot in the Italian theater. He was awarded the Air medal. Their sister was Janet.

James’ mother Lucy died of an illness in February 1925 three days after his 7-month-old brother Hubert died of pneumonia. They are buried in Tucson, Arizona. In 1930, James, John and Janet visited their aunt Sara Roak and grandparents J. S. and Helen Roak in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. Sara and Helen visited James at the Naval Academy in September, 1940.

His wife was listed as next of kin. James is listed at the Courts of the Missing in Hawaii.

Photographs


Class of 1942

James is one of 82 members of the Class of 1942 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

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