05 December 2012

1942 Rescue from the Langley

Sometimes the most interesting discoveries are the accidental ones--particularly what I recently discovered at Genealogybank.com.  .

The aircraft carrier Langley was sunk off Java in February of 1942. According to the newspaper article below, James Fecht was on the carrier and, for two months, was presumed dead. Newspaper accounts claim that his mother refused to accept her son's death.

It turns out that he was not dead.

The article indicates that he was wounded but provides not real specific details.

Date: Tuesday, May 5, 1942  

Paper: Morning Star (Rockford, IL) 

obtained on  Genealogybank.com. 
There was even a picture of Fecht and his mother in several papes the next day, including this one which appeared in the Omaha World Herald.

Date: Wednesday, May 6, 1942  

Paper: Omaha World Herald (Omaha, NE)--

obtained on 


A really nice story with a nice ending--but I'm going to be doing a little more searching to see what additional details can be located.

James was a brother of Gloria Fecht, who was in the Ice Follies and was a professional golfer in the 1940s and 1950s. We have written about Gloria before as well.

Gloria and James Fecht were children of Henry Fecht, born in Hancock County, Illinois, in the 1890s. Henry Fecht was the son of George H. Fecht (brother to my great-great-grandmother Habben) and Annie Huls Fecht (first cousin to my great-grandfather Habben). We'll leave the explanation of that complex relationship to another blog post.