SK3c James Lowell Flannery,

Unknown Sailor

SK3c James Lowell Flannery

Brothers James Lowell Flannery and Wendell Lee Flannery were among seven men from southwest Ohio on the U.S.S. Arizona when it was attacked at Pearl Harbor.

James, a storekeeper and petty officer third class, died on Dec. 7, 1941. Wendell, a coxswain, survived. Wendell, younger by two years, had enlisted first, in October 1940. James was worried about him and joined the Navy the next month. Wendell served throughout the war and died at age 78.

James, born Sept. 18, 1918, graduated from Hillsboro High School in Hillsboro, Ohio southwest of Columbus in 1936, where he had played football and basketball. Wendell played sports at McKell High in South Shore, Kentucky, about 60 miles away.

The family also lived other places in Ohio, including Chillicothe, Clay Township, and Portsmouth, following the work of their father, also named James, who was a minister. Their mother, Martha, was a homemaker.

The 1940 census, conducted that spring, shows Wendell still in high school and James, then 22, working as a pattern maker at Shelby Shoes. An older brother, Guy, also worked there as a laster.

James Flannery was the same age and enlisted on the same day in the same place as another man who died on the Arizona, Donald William Caplinger. Caplinger spent much of his life in the Hillsboro area. The Flannery brothers probably also knew Hurschel Woodrow Wilson, John A. Smith, and James L. Wise, who were from Greenfield, a town of 4,228 people 17 miles northeast of Hillsboro. Wilson and Smith died on the Arizona. Wise was severely burned but survived. A seventh southeast Ohio man, Ralph E. Poole, from Portsmouth, also died. The Portsmouth newspaper said Flannery and Poole were buddies, but it did not explain whether they met before they were assigned to the Arizona.


Sources: Chillicothe Gazette; The Press-Gazette of Hillsboro, Ohio; Portsmouth Daily Times;  the Lexington (Kentucky) Herald-Leader; US Census. U.S. departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. 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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