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.
Date: Wednesday, May 6, 1942
Paper: Omaha World Herald (Omaha, NE)--
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.