Casefile Clues

05 December 2012

James Fecht's Mother Had No Doubt

Headline of article about James Fecht being located by his mother.

Date: Tuesday, May 5, 1942  

Paper: San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco, CA)

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obtained on 

 Genealogybank.com. 
Women's intuition is mentioned several times in this 1942 article which was probably written by a man. Despite doubts about intuition, there was no doubt that Mrs. Fecht was correct, her son James was alive and recovering from his wounds at Mare Island Naval Hospital.

Mrs. Fecht had learned a week or so before that Jack Kennedy, a survivor of the same vessel on which her son was stationed, had returned home. She was told on 6 April that her son was among the missing. Through the USO and the Navy Wives, Mrs.Fecht traced her son to the Hospital and her airline travel was provided by those two groups.

Fecht had arrived at the hospital in April and did not know that he had been reported as lost to his parents. He was wounded on board the Langley and went overboard in a lifebelt and not on a lifeboat. He was in the water for six hours.

Then the newspaper article is not clear and states:

"Then same destroyer that had rescued The following day survivors were landed on an island and were there a brief time before the Japs bombarded the settlement.All who could be removed were placed in barges and were taken to another Navy vessel which also was bombarded and sunk."

Fecht plunged overboard and was "picked up by the same destroyed" as before and he was taken to Australia before being transferred to Mare Island Naval Hospital.

I've ended my newspaper searches for Fecht on Genealogybank.com, at least for now.In a future post, we'll see what military information we can locate on James.