PFC James Ernest. Lindsay

Unknown Sailor

PFC James Ernest. Lindsay

On Dec. 19, 1941 townspeople in St. Clair, Michigan gathered in front of City Hall to light the community Christmas tree. Girl Scouts in capes sang carols, and it was “a colorful ceremony in keeping with the season,” the local newspaper reported.

But one thing about the event was different. It included a moment of silence for James Ernest  Lindsay, who’d left the town of 3,400 in the eastern thumb of the state to enlist in the Marines. He was killed on Dec. 7, 1941 in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Mr. Lindsay was a private first class on the U.S.S. Arizona.

He was born Aug. 6, 1917 in Port Huron, Michigan near Lake Huron across from Ontario and north of Detroit. His father, James, was a pharmacist, and his mother, Pearl Davis Lindsay, a homemaker.

By early 1920 the family had moved 10 miles south to St. Clair. The son worked at a  Chris-Craft boat plant 14 miles south in Algonac before enlisting on Nov. 22, 1939.

His body was recovered or identified on Dec. 22, and is buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at the Punchbowl in Honolulu.


Sources: The Times Herald of Port Huron, Michigan; grave marker; Marine enlistment record; Census. Marine photo. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.

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