Connell, James Aloysius, LCDR

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Lieutenant Commander
Last Service Branch
Dental Corps
Last Primary NEC
220X-Dental Corps Officer
Last Rating/NEC Group
Staff Corps Officer
Primary Unit
1942-1945, 220X, Prisoner of War
Service Years
1927 - 1945
Dental Corps
Lieutenant Commander

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Tommy Burgdorf (Birddog), FC2 to remember Connell, James Aloysius, LCDR.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Parsons, PA
Last Address
93 Woodard St
Wilkes-Barre, PA
(Parents~Mr&Mrs William Connell)

Casualty Date
Jan 22, 1945
Hostile, Died while Captured
Unknown, Not Reported
Pacific Ocean
World War II
Location of Interment
Manila American Cemetery - Taguig City, Philippines
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Walls of the Missing (cenotaph)

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
World War II FallenUnited States Navy Memorial The National Gold Star Family RegistryWW II Memorial National Registry
  1945, World War II Fallen
  2012, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
  2013, The National Gold Star Family Registry
  2013, WW II Memorial National Registry

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

 Duty Stations
Bureau of Medicine (BUMED)US NavyNaval Hospital Philadelphia, PAPrisoner of War
  1929-1936, 220X, Naval Hospital Brooklyn, NY
  1936-1939, 220X, USS Tennessee (BB-43)
  1939-1941, 220X, Naval Hospital Philadelphia, PA
  1941-1941, 220X, Naval Hospital Canacao, Philippines
  1942-1945, 220X, Prisoner of War
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1942 Philippine Islands Campaign (1941-42)/Battle of the Philippines
  1941-1945 World War II
 Colleges Attended 
Georgetown University
  1922-1926, Georgetown University2
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Jul 02, 1928, Promoted Lieutenant Junior Grade
  May 01, 1936, Promoted Lieutenant
  Jun 26, 1940, Promoted Lieutenant Commander
  Jan 22, 2015, General Photos1
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Reportedly killed in an air attack on the Japanese freighter Oryoku Maru which attacked by allies believing it to be a Japanese cargo ship only. 

LCDR James A. Connel had been in Manila when the Japanese captured the Philippines in the early stages of World War II, he was a prisoner of war, or POW, in the Bilibid Prison in Manila. There, he and other American and Allied POWs were often forced to do heavy labor.

With U.S. forces about to retake the islands in late 1944, the Japanese began moving Connel and thousands of other POWs to locations closer to Japan. To do so, Japanese troops herded them by the hundreds into the holds of merchant ships that also carried supplies and weapons.
Connel ended up on the Oryoku Maru:

The prisoners had been so crowded in these other holds that they couldn't even get air to breathe. They went crazy, cut and bit each other through the arms and legs and sucked their blood. In order to keep from being murdered, many had to climb the ladders and were promptly shot by guards. Between twenty and thirty prisoners had died of suffocation or were murdered during the night.

If that was not bad enough, the merchant ship was a target for U.S. planes and submarines, whose crews did not know they were also loaded with American and Allied POWs. In mid-December 1944, they attacked and sank the Oryoku Maru. Some people survived the ordeal 

The story and those of other American POWs held by the Japanese during World War II came to light when NARA archivists were trying to decipher punch card codes as they assembled material for the National Archives' new online search tool Access to Archival Databases (AAD), which debuted on NARA's web site,


Name of Award
Bronze Star
Gold Letter V  Gold Letter V  Awarded for distinguished actions in combat (valor)
Year Awarded
Details behind Award:
"For meritorious service as a member of Naval Hospital Unit while interned at Bilibid Prison, Manila, from May 30, 1942 to December 13, 1944
When in the face of seemingly unsurmountable difficulties and hardships the Japanese ordered this hospital unit to establish and maintain a prison of war hospital at Bilibid, LCDR Connell immeadiately proceeded to establish a dental office where treatment could be adminstered.
Hampered by lack of almost every basic necessity, he and other dental officers present crudley forged much of the equipment from bits of wasted material surrepitiously gathered, sometimes at extreme risk to personal health and safety. 

LCDR Connell is authorized to wear the Combat "V".
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Division: Prisoner of War (Philippine Islands)

Name of Award
Prison of War Medal
Year Awarded
Details behind Award:
Awarded for actions during the World War II 

Lieutenant Commander (DC) James A. Connell (NSN: 0-61996), United States Navy, was captured by the Japanese after the fall of Corregidor, Philippine Islands, on 6 May 1942, and was held as a Prisoner of War until his death in captivity aboard the Prison Ship ORYOKU MARU on or about 22 January 1945.
General Orders: NARA Database: Records of World War II Prisoners of War, created, 1942 - 1947
Action Date: May 6, 1942 - January 22, 1945
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Division: Prisoner of War (Philippine Islands)
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