Gearhart, James Evans, S2c

Fallen
 
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Last Rank
Seaman Second Class
Last Primary NEC
S2c-0000-Seaman 2nd Class
Last Rating/NEC Group
Seaman Second Class
Primary Unit
1943-1944, S2c-0000, USS Corry (DD-463)
Service Years
1942 - 1944
Seaman Second Class

 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
West Virginia
West Virginia
Year of Birth
1924
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Bersley H. Thomas, Jr. (Tom), SMCS to remember Gearhart, James Evans, S2c.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Sophia, WVA
Last Address
Sophia, WVA

Casualty Date
Jun 06, 1944
 
Cause
Hostile-Body Not Recovered
Reason
Artillery, Rocket, Mortar
Location
Atlantic Ocean
Conflict
World War II
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Upon arriving off the coast of Normandy, France, USS Corry (DD-463) headed for Iles Saint-Marcouf, her station for fire support on the front lines at Utah Beach. On D-Day morning 6 June 1944 she fired several hundred rounds of 5-inch ammunition at numerous onshore targets. As H-Hour (0630) neared, when troops would begin fighting their way onto the beaches, the plane assigned to lay smoke for Corry to conceal her from enemy fire was suddenly shot down, leaving Corry fully exposed to German gunners, who were now firing at her in full fury. At approximately H-Hour, during a duel with a shore battery, Corry suffered direct heavy-caliber artillery hits in her engineering spaces amidships. With her rudder jammed, she went around in a circle before all steam was lost. Still under heavy fire, Corry began sinking rapidly with her keel broken and a foot-wide crack across her main deck amidships. After the order to abandon ship, crewmembers fought to survive in bone-chilling water for more than two hours as they awaited rescue under constant enemy fire from German shore gunners. Of her crew, 24 were killed and 60 were wounded.

S2c Gearhart was listed as missing in action and later declared dead.
   
Comments/Citation

Service number: 5526004
   
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Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)/Operation Leader
From Month/Year
October / 1943
To Month/Year
October / 1943

Description
Operation Leader was a successful air attack conducted by the United States Navy against German shipping in the vicinity of Bodø, Norway, on 4 October 1943, during World War II. The raid was executed by aircraft flying from the aircraft carrier USS Ranger, which at the time was attached to the British Home Fleet. The American airmen located many German and Norwegian ships in this area, and are believed to have destroyed five and damaged another seven. Two German aircraft searching for the Allied fleet were shot down as well. Three American aircraft were destroyed in combat during the operation, and another crashed while landing.

The attack followed a two-year lull in Allied aircraft carrier operations against Norway, and took the German forces by surprise. The choice of the target area was guided by intelligence gained from decoding German radio signals and reports from Norwegian Secret Intelligence Service agents, and two Norwegian airmen flew with the attack force to provide advice on the local geography. While historians have found it difficult to determine the exact number of ships sunk, Operation Leader damaged the German war effort by considerably disrupting the convoy system in the region and reducing shipments of iron ore.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Month/Year
October / 1943
To Month/Year
October / 1943
 
Last Updated:
Mar 16, 2020
   
Personal Memories
   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

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