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Name: Sidney Clare Rigby Rank: Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class (Petty Officer 2nd Class) Service Number: 6062991 Service: USS Ross, US Navy Awards: Purple Heart Date of Birth: June 12, 1920 Place of Birth: Sydney Mines, Cape Breton, NS Date of Enlistment: October 1, 1942 Place of Enlistment: Pawtucket, Providence Co., Rhode Island Address at Enlistment: Pawtucket, Providence Co., Rhode Island Age at Enlistment: 22 Height: 5 feet, 5 inches Complexion: Light Hair Color: Blonde Eye Color: Blue Occupation: Cotton spinning, Millinery Next of Kin: Edith Rigby (Mother) Date of Death: October 19, 1944 Age: 24 Cemetery: Manila American Cemetery, Philippines Grave: Tablets of the Missing Sidney Clare Rigby was the son of Robert William Rigby (born 1887) and Edith Clare Rigby (born 1889). His father was born in Gillibrand Walks, Chorley, Lancashire, England; his mother – in Horwick, Lancashire. Sidney was the husband of Gladys Carline Rigby. His father served Canada in the First World War (Service No. 414716) with the 40th and 13th Battalions, Canadian Expeditionary Forces in England and France (served March 31, 1915 – March 28, 1919.) His parents lived in Cape Breton prior to moving to New England. His parents moved from Cape Breton to Pawtucket, Rhode Island in October of 1925 (immigrating by train via Vanceboro, Maine on October 4, 1925). In the 1940 census records Sidney’s occupation as a bobbin boy. A bobbin boy was young man who worked in a textile mill (traditionally from the 18th and early 19th centuries). He would bring bobbins to the women working on the looms when they called for them, collected the full bobbins of spun cotton or wool thread and were often expected to fix minor problems with the machines. He registered for the US Draft July 1, 1941, in Pawtucket, and was working for the H & B American Machine Company at the time. Sidney joined the United States Navy and served as a Machinist’s Mate. He served on the USS Calvin (APA- 32), a Crescent City-class attack transport, the Wyoming (AG-17), a Wyoming -class battleship, and two Fletcher-class destroyers, the USS Harrison (DD-573), and the USS Ross (DD-563). He last mustered with the Ross on September 30, 1944. On October 12, the USS Ross departed the Admiralty Islands in the Pacific. Five days later the arrived off Dinagat Island. On the morning of the 18th, the Ross covered landings there, on Black Beach 2, then joined Task Unit 77.2.6 to provide cover for that minesweeping and hydrography unit. The ship’s duty, however, ended abruptly less than 15 hours later. At 01:33 on October 19, 1944, the Ross struck a mine to port under the forward engine room and fireroom; and began to list to port. At 01:55 the ship struck a second mine in the vicinity of the after engine room. The list increased to 14°. The USS Chickasaw (ATF-83), a Navajo-class fleet tug, and Preserver (ARS-8), a Diver-class rescue and salvage ship, closed to render assistance. Soon after 02:10, Ross jettisoned six torpedoes, all port depth charges, and miscellaneous gear. Topside movable weights were shifted to starboard. The list began to decrease. At 03:15, the medical officer, the seriously injured, and the ship's funds were transferred to Chickasaw. At 03:43, the USS Ross was taken in tow by the Chickasaw and 4 hours later anchored off Homonhon Island, in Eastern Samar province, Philippines. Casualties from the mine explosions were three killed, 20 missing, nine injured. Sidney was one of the 23 casualties; his death is recorded as a combat naval casualty. At 12:04 the anchorage was attacked by Japanese planes. Shrapnel injured two more from the crew of USS Ross. Machinist’s Mate Second Class Sidney Clare Rigby is remembered on the Tablets of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery in the Philippines. He also has a memorial tablet at the Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery (Section M, Row 3, Site 31).
Sidney Clare Rigby
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USS Ross underway off Mare Island Naval Shipyard, California, June 27, 1945