Furr, James H, WT2c

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Last Rank
Petty Officer Second Class
Last Primary NEC
WT-0000-Water Tender
Last Rating/NEC Group
Water Tender
Primary Unit
1939-1943, WT-0000, USS Helena (CL-50)
Service Years
1939 - 1943
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Plank Owner
WT-Water Tender
One Hash Mark

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

287 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember Furr, James H (Jim), WT2c.

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
McKinney, Collin County, Texas
Last Address
Lost at Sea. Body not recovered.
Listed on The WALL of HONOR at the

Casualty Date
Jul 06, 1943
Hostile, Died of Wounds
Artillery, Rocket, Mortar
World War II
Location of Interment
Buried at Sea, Pacific Ocean
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

Pearl Harbor Memorial Medallion Gold Star

 Military Association Memberships
World War II Fallen
  1943, World War II Fallen [Verified]

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
RTC (Cadre/Faculty Staff) San Diego, CASchool Assignments - StaffUS NavyUSS Helena (CL-50)
  1939-1939, SR-0000, HQ, RTC (Cadre/Faculty Staff) San Diego, CA
  1939-1939, Water Tenders School
  1939-1939, WT-0000, New York Navy Yard
  1939-1943, WT-0000, USS Helena (CL-50)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1941 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Attack on Pearl Harbor
  1942-1942 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Guadalcanal Campaign (1942-42)
  1943-1943 World War II1
  1943-1943 Northern Solomon Islands Campaign (1943-44)/Battle of Kula Gulf
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Oscar Harry Furr, Machinist's Mate 1c
  TEDD MCKINLEY FURR, Chief Carpenter's Mate (AA)
  Jul 06, 1943, JAMES (JIM) HICKEY FURR 1923-1943
  Dec 20, 1944, Awarded the very first NAVY UNIT COMMENDATION
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Watertender 2c, James "Jim" Hickey Furr, U.S. Navy
KIA 6 July 1943 - U.S.S. Helena

JAMES HICKEY FURR, age 20 - McKinney, Collin County, Texas - Watertender 2nd Class, U.S. Navy 1939-1943.

Jim Furr served on the USS Helena (CL-50), a 10,000-ton Saint Louis class light cruiser that was commissioned in September of 1939. On 7 December, 1941, while tied up alongside the 1010 Dock at Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, Helena was hit by a single torpedo during the Japanese attack. Jim was wounded and received one of the first Purple Heart medals of World War II. The damage to Helena included the flooding of an engine room and a boiler room.

The summer of 1942 found the Helena in the South Pacific and actively participating in the Guadalcanal Campaign. On 15 September her crew rescued survivors of the aircraft carrier USS Wasp, which had been torpedoed by the Japanese submarine I-19 earlier that day.

The Helena engaged in night surface combat in support of the Guadalcanal invasion and shelled Japanese bases on New Georgia and Kolombangara islands. Early on the morning of 6 July 1943, Helena was part of a task force that took on a group of Japanese destroyers in the Battle of Kula Gulf. The cruiser, after being hit by three torpedoes, broke into three parts and sunk.

Jim Furr was one of the 170 crewmen who were lost at sea.

WT 2c Furr is listed on The WALL of  HONOR at the VETERANS MEMORIAL PARK in McKinney, Texas. The wall contains the names of 343 COLLIN COUNTY heroes who gave all for our country. Though they are no longer with us in body, their spirits live on.


Two Purple Hearts (7 December 1941 at Pearl Harbor and 6 July at Kula Gulf)
Combat Action Ribbon and Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, see below*

American Defense Service Medal and American Campaign Medal,
Asiatic/Pacific Campaign Medal with 7 stars, Good Conduct Award,
WWII Victory Medal, posthumous award.

*Helena was the first ship to receive the Navy Unit Commendation. Her actions in the Battles of Cape Esperance, Guadalcanal, and Kula Gulf were named in the citation. Helena also earned the
Asiatic/Pacific Campaign Medal with seven stars.

On 20 December 1944,
the Secretary of the Navy,
with the approval of the
President of the United States,
made the first award of the newly created
to the


"For outstanding heroism in action against enemy Japanese forces afloat in the Solomon Islands - New Georgia Areas. Gallantly carrying the fight to the enemy, the USS HELENA opened the night Battle of Cape Espereance on 11-12 October 1942 boldly sending her fire into the force of enemy warships, sinking a hostile destroyer and hold­ing to a minimum the damage to our destroyers in the rear of the Task Force. She engaged at close quarters a superior force of hostile combatant ships in the Battle of Guadalcanal on the night of 12-13 November 1942, rallying our own forces after the Flag Ship had been disabled and contributing to the enemy's defeat. In her final engagement in the pre-dawn battle of 5-6 July 1943, the HELENA valiantly sailed down the restricted and submarine-infested waters of Kula Gulf under the terrific torpedo and gun fire of the enemy to bombard Kolombangara and New Georgia while covering the landing of our troops at Rice Anchorage, and twenty-four hours later, her blazing guns aided in the destruction of a vastly superior enemy naval force before she was fatally struck by Japanese torpedos. Her brave record of combat achievement is evidence of the HELENA'S intrepidity and the heroic fighting spirit of her officers and men.

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