Pvt. James Hortin Roosevelt, U.S. Marines, only son of Mr. and Mrs. James B. Roosevelt of south of Albion, has been killed in action [July 8, 1943] in the South Pacific area, according to a message received by his parents Friday and dated at Arlington, Va., last Thursday, July 29.
The message which was signed by T. Holcomb, Lieut. General and Commandant U.S. Marine Corps reads as follows:
“Deeply regret to inform you that your son Pvt. James H. Roosevelt, U.S. Marines Corps Reserve, was killed in action in the performance of his duty and in the service of his country. To prevent possible aid to our enemies please do not divulge the name of his ship or station. Present situation necessitates internment temporarily in the locality where death occurred and you will be notified accordingly. Please accept my heartfelt sympathy, Letter follows.”
Roosevelt would have been 21 years old next December 9th. He enlisted December 1st, 1942 and received his boot training at the Marine base at San Diego, California. He left the United States for overseas service on April 18. His relatives believe that he was in New Guinea and his death probably occurred in the present drive on Munda and Salamaua.
Deceased was born in Edwards County and graduated from the A.C.H.S. in 1941. He was active in sports and popular with his classmates. Surviving are his parents, and one sister Miss Maxine, who is employed at the County Welfare office here.
Pvt. Roosevelt is Edwards County’s fourth casualty in World War II. Others were Lieut. Charles Richards, Air Corps, killed in action in the South Pacific; Ralph Kendrick, killed in an accident in a southern camp and Lieut. Harold Pierce, Air Corps native of Albion who was killed in the bombing of the Ruhr dams in Germany.
At the little church where he attended Sunday School and church as a boy, Memorial services were held last Sunday for James Hortin Roosevelt, who as a member of Company C, First Raiders’ Battalion, USMC, gave his life at Enogai, New Georgia Island, last July 8.
The wind sighed softly through the big old trees with their fresh green leaves that surround Olive Congregational Christian Church five miles south of Albion even as a South Seas breeze was probably softly waving the palms above the military markers of heroes who sleep at Government Cemetery at Enogai where he is buried but in the hearts of his family and his boyhood friends the distance, last Sunday afternoon, did not seem far. In the hearts of the silent group of friends it seemed that the happy carefree boy who, as a school mate put it “was mischievous but smart as a tack” should be somewhere near.
Realizing that if there were any publicity, the tiny church would not begin to hold the crowd that would attend the service, Mr. and Mrs. James Roosevelt had the service announced only to the congregation, relatives and friends, but the crowd overflowed the church and into the shaded church lawn.
The address was made by the pastor of the dead hero, Rev. Harry Taylor, himself a War Dad with a boy in overseas service. Music included two duets, “The Cross Is Not Greater” and “Be Still My Soul” by Mrs. William Wood and Mr. Melvin Works.
Honorary pall bearers named for the service included Pfc. Roman Kuyak, and Robert J. Farmer, buddies of young Roosevelt, Pfc. Leo Frankland, Sgt. Marvin Johnson, A-C Carl M. Jacobs and John E. Roosevelt, S 2-c, boyhood friends and relatives.