GM3c James Robert Jr. Lynch

Unknown Sailor

GM3c James Robert Jr. Lynch

James Robert Lynch Jr. and his family knew that war was looming in 1941, his sister, Irene, recalled years later.

“I think Robert’s attitude was, ‘Well, let’s get this thing over with,’ “ she told a reporter.

Mr. Lynch was killed on Dec. 7, 1941 — the day that war began with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He was a gunner’s mate and petty officer third class on the U.S.S. Arizona.

He and his younger brother, John Perry, enlisted in the Navy in the summer of 1940. John Perry served on a destroyer also assigned to Pearl Harbor, though it was at sea the morning of the attack.

The brothers were from Comanche County in central Texas about 100 miles southwest of Fort Worth, the sons of James Robert Lynch, a farmer, and Celeste Small Lynch, a homemaker. James Jr. was born Oct. 25, 1917.

By February 1920 the census said the family lived in Mittnilla, a town that no longer exists, on a road between Sidney, population about 200, and Blanket, population 472. They remained in the same location in Comanche County through the May 1940 Census.

Both brothers graduated from high school, according to the census. It identified James Jr. as a car salesman who worked 40 weeks in 1939 and earned $400. His brother’s job wasn’t named, but he worked 28 weeks and earned $280. Their father’s farm income was zero.

John Perry Lynch survived the war and became a Texas Ranger. He died in 1996.


Sources:the Brownwood (Texas) Bulletin; Navy muster rolls; Census; grave markers. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.

NOTE: If you are a family member related to this crew member of the U.S.S. Arizona, or have additional information, pictures or documents to share about his life or service to our county please contact us through our FAMILY MEMBER SUBMISSION FORM