S1c John Burditt James,

Unknown Sailor

S1c John Burditt James

John Burditt James was born Jan. 5, 1923 at Leakey in the Texas Hill Country about 90 miles west of San Antonio. His mother, Nell Burditt James, was a homemaker, and his father, Doc James, a farmer.

By 1930 the family included three children and they lived at Port Arthur, Texas near the Gulf of Mexico and the Louisiana border. The father worked at an oil refinery.

The parents divorced, and by the time of the spring 1940 Census John and his sister were back near Leakey living with their maternal grandparents, who were ranchers. The Census said John had completed high school.

He enlisted in the Navy on Nov. 27, 1940. Mr. James was a seaman first class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

His father, who became a captain in the Army Air Force, served in both World War I and World War II. He is buried at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio.

John’s sister, Georgia James Fulenwider, is also buried there. She served in the Navy as a hospital apprentice during World War II.

A younger brother, William, served in the Navy from March 1946 through December 1947. He later became sheriff of Bandera County, Texas.


Sources: San Antonio (Texas) Express; Kerrville (Texas) Mountain Sun; Texas birth and death records; Census; Navy muster roll; U.S. National Cemetery Interment Control Form; grave markers; U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs 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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