Wilson, Robert Archibald, FC1c

Fallen
 
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Last Rank
Fire Controlman 1st Class
Last Primary NEC
FC-0000-Fire Controlman
Last Rating/NEC Group
Fire Controlman
Primary Unit
1942-1945, FC-0000, Prisoner of War/Japan
Service Years
1936 - 1945
FC-Fire Controlman
Two Hash Marks

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
New Jersey
New Jersey
Year of Birth
1917
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Bersley H. Thomas, Jr. (Tom), SMCS to remember Wilson, Robert Archibald, FC1c.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Weehawken, NJ
Last Address
84 Liberty Pl
Weehawkin, NJ

Casualty Date
Jun 15, 1945
 
Cause
Hostile, Died while Captured
Reason
Illness, Disease
Location
Indonesia
Conflict
Submarine War Patrols
Location of Interment
Beverly National Cemetery - Beverly, New Jersey
Wall/Plot Coordinates
F 1734

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 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

On the evening of 1 March 1942, Perch surfaced 30 miles (48 km) northwest of Surabaya, Java, and started in for an attack on an enemy convoy landing troops to the west of Surabaya. Two enemy destroyers attacked and drove her down with a string of depth charges which caused her to bottom at 135 feet (41 m). Several more depth charge attacks caused extensive damage, putting the starboard motors out of commission and causing extensive flooding throughout the boat. After repairs, Perch surfaced at two o'clock in the morning, only to be again driven down by destroyers. The loss of oil, and air from damaged ballast tanks, convinced the enemy that Perch was breaking up and they went on to look for other kills, allowing her to escape.

With decks awash and only one engine in commission, the crew made all possible repairs. During the early morning of 3 March, a test dive was made with almost fatal results. Expert handling and good luck enabled her to surface, and she began making repairs. Then, as if this was not enough, two Japanese cruisers and three destroyers hove into view and began firing. As shells straddled the boat, her skipper ordered, "Abandon ship, scuttle the boat." With all hull openings open, Perch made her last dive. She was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register 24 June 1942.
The entire crew was captured by a Japanese destroyer. Of the fifty-four men and five officers, all but six - who died of malnutrition and disease in Japanese prisoner-of-war camps - were able to return to the United States after V-J Day. 

FC1 Wilson died of dysentery while held as a prisoner of war.
   
Comments/Citation

Service number: 2233464

Prisoner of War Medal
Awarded for Actions During World War II
Service: Navy
Rank: Fire Controlman First Class
Division: Prisoner of War (Java)
General Orders: NARA Database: Records of World War II Prisoners of War, created, 1942 - 1947
Citation: Fire Controlman First Class Robert Archibald Wilson (NSN: 2233464), United States Navy, was captured by the Japanese after his submarine, U.S.S. PERCH (SS-176), was scuttled on 3 March 1942, and was held as a Prisoner of War until his death while still in captivity.
   
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 Ribbon Bar
Submarine Enlisted Badge
Submarine Combat Patrol Badge

 
 Duty Stations
USS Holland (AS-3)Advancement Schools and CoursesUS NavyUSS Sea Lion (SS-195)
USS Canopus (AS-9)USS Shark (SS-174)USS Tarpon (SS-175)USS Perch (SS-176)
Prisoner of War
  1938-1939, FC-0000, USS Holland (AS-3)
  1939-1939, FC-0000, (FC) Fire Controlman B School
  1939-1939, FC-0000, USS Salmon (SS-182)
  1939-1939, FC-0000, USS Holland (AS-3)
  1939-1940, FC-0000, USS Sea Lion (SS-195)
  1940-1941, FC-0000, USS Canopus (AS-9)
  1941-1941, FC-0000, USS Shark (SS-174)
  1941-1941, FC-0000, USS Tarpon (SS-175)
  1941-1941, FC-0000, USS Canopus (AS-9)
  1941-1942, FC-0000, USS Perch (SS-176)
  1942-1945, FC-0000, Prisoner of War/Japan
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1942 East Indies Campaign (1941-42)/Battle of Java Sea
 Other News, Events and Photographs
 
  Jul 22, 2013, General Photos2
 Military Association Memberships
WW II Memorial National RegistryUnited States Navy Memorial World War II Fallen
  2018, WW II Memorial National Registry
  2018, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
  2018, World War II Fallen
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