S1c James Frank Wallace

Unknown Sailor

S1c James Frank Wallace

Two friends from rural Adams County, Wisconsin about 45 miles north of Madison died in the opening hours of Japan’s attack on the United States.

James Frank Wallace, a seaman first class, died on the U.S.S. Arizona at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Hours later, Ralph Egbert Tuttle, a fireman second class, was killed on Wake Island about 2,000 miles west.

The two men went to school together, joined the Civilian Conservation Corps together, and enlisted in the Navy a month apart. They trained together at Great Lakes Naval Training Station and then were sent to the Pacific.

Mr. Wallace was born Feb. 6, 1919 in tiny New Haven in the southeast corner of Adams County. He completed his education there in the 6th grade. He joined the CCC, a Depression-era federal jobs program, on Oct. 2, 1939. A younger brother also worked in the CCC, according to the 1940 Census, which said they worked for 26 weeks the previous year and earned $180 each – the equivalent of about $3,500 in 2022 dollars.

He finished his CCC commitment on Oct. 14, 1940, and enlisted in the Navy the next day.

His parents were James W. Wallace, a farmer, and Clara Wallace, a homemaker.

The two sailors were honored at a joint memorial service in February 1942 at the Gospel Tabernacle in Adams, Wisconsin.


Sources: Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune; cenotaph and grave markers; Census; Navy muster rolls. 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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