World War IIUS Navy
USS Pensacola (CA-24)
Service Number: 06182966
Born: March 14, 1914
Inducted: March 16, 1942
Missing November 30, 1942, off Guadalcanal
Presumed dead: December 1, 1943
Memorial Marker in St Joseph Cemetery, Akron
Memorial Tablet in Manila American Cemetery, Philippines.
Son of James J. and Jennie Delehanty Diamond.
Memorial Tablet - Manila AC
Photo by ABMC Staff
December 24, 1942 The Akron News-Reporter
Akron Boy Reported Missing by the Navy
Mr. and Mrs. James Diamond received word December 10 that their son James was reported missing by the war department.
His ship and the exact area is not disclosed. They had received a letter from him, dated Nov. 23, the day previous to receiving the telegram.
He has been in the Navy since March and is a fireman second class.
Thursday March 4, 1943 The Akron News-Reporter
In honor of James J. Diamond Jr., killed in action with the United States Navy in the southwest Pacific, Requiem Mass will be held at St. Joseph's Church from 8:30 until 9:30 o'clock this Thursday morning, March 11.
All business places in Akron, including the courthouse, will be closed during the services to pay homage to this Washington County boy who gave his life for freedom's sake. It is an open service to which all are welcome.
There is an obvious disconnect between the March 1943 clipping and the December 1, 1943 official date of death on both the St. Joseph Cemetery military marker and the Missing and Buried at Sea database at the ABMC homepage.
The family provided James Diamond Jr. sketch for the 1993 book, The War Years, relates that Fireman Diamond was killed in the Battle of Tassafaronga on 30 November 1942, buried at the navy base on Tulagi Island, and later moved to a military cemetery on Guadalcanal. This account was based on stories provided to the family by USS Pensacola crew mates who said James Diamond was in the ship's recreation center when a torpedo scored a direct hit on it. The crewmen (identified and unidentified) who died during the action were buried at the temporary naval base on Tulagi.
The Navy was apparently unable to account for all the crewmen of the Pensacola after the action of November 30, 1942 and carried Fireman Diamond as missing in action until the normal 12 months had lapsed when his status was changed to missing and presumed dead. (If the muster had been complete or there had been an eyewitness account, the initial status would have been killed in action - not recovered or unidentified.)
The cemetery on Guadalcanal was emptied after the war. The unidentified were probably reinterred at the Manila American Cemetery.
The following clipping relates what happened to the USS Pensacola on November 30, 1942 when James Diamond was declared missing in action.
Chronology of the US Navy in WII - November 30, 1942:
"Battle of Tassafaronga: TF 67, comprising four heavy cruisers, one light cruiser, and six destroyers (Rear Admiral Carlton H. Wright) surprises Japanese destroyers (Captain Sato Torajiro) off Tassafaronga Point, Guadalcanal. The enemy presses on to jettison supply containers to sustain Japanese troops on Guadalcanal, while torpedoes launched from destroyers Kagero, Makinami, Kuroshio, Oyashio, Kawakaze and Naganami wreak havoc on Wright's ships, damaging heavy cruisers Pensacola (CA-24), Northampton (CA-26), New Orleans (CA-32), and Minneapolis (CA-36). Japanese destroyer Takanami is damaged by cruiser and destroyer gunfire off Tassafaronga."
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