SK3c Jesse Herbert Gurley,

Unknown Sailor

SK3c Jesse Herbert Gurley

Jesse Herbert Gurley and his best friend, Harold Eugene Beggs, were “country boys from tiny Johnson Co. Illinois,” Beggs’ younger sister, Virginia Beggs Karaker, recalled in 2015. Even at age 93, she wept as she remembered her brother, who she called a “sissy” because he was a good boy who didn’t drink, smoke or cuss.

Mr. Gurley was born Nov. 22, 1919, to Jesse Gurley, a farmer, and Chattye Dunn Gurley, a homemaker.

“After years of hauling hay by hand and using a horse to plow roads level when it rained — Harold decided he wanted something else from life,” the Evansville, Indiana, Courier and Press reported. So on Oct. 9, 1939 Mr. Beggs and Mr. Gurley went to St. Louis and joined the Navy.

They both married — Mr. Gurley in Missouri in October 1940 to Isabella Hight Gurley.

VFW Post 5222 in Vienna, Ill., is named for both men.

Mr. Gurley represented his ship in wrestling matches, competing in the 155-pound class.

Sources: The Courier and Press of Evansville, Indiana; Navy muster rolls; Missouri marriage licenses; Social Security records; VA death file.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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