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Remembering World War II
Name: James Bazil Downey Rank: Corporal Service Number: 467772 Service: 31st Replenishment Draft, 5th Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, United States Marine Corps Date of Birth: May 24, 1921 Place of Birth: Halifax, Nova Scotia Date of Enlistment: October 9, 1942 Place of Enlistment: Massachusetts Address at Enlistment: Roslindale, Suffolk Co., Massachusetts Age at Enlistment: 21 Height: 5 feet, 10 inches Complexion: Light Hair Color: Brown Eye Color: Blue Occupation: Unknown Marital Status: Unknown Religion: Protestant Date of Death: March 8, 1945 Age: 23 Cemetery: National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific Grave: Section O, Site 238 James Bazil Downey was the son of James Thomas Downey (1891-1971) and Martha Isabelle ‘Daisy’ (Yeadon) Downey (1890-1953). His father was born in Halifax, NS and his mother in Spryfield, Halifax County, NS. James was the brother of Constance B Downey, Lloyd J Downey, Geraldine V Downey, William J Downey, John B Downey, and Marilyn J Downey. The family immigrated to the United States, travelling by ferry from Yarmouth, NS, to Boston, Mass. in May of 1923. In 1940, the family was living at 608 Beech St in Roslindale, Boston. An uncle, Amos Yeadon (his mother’s brother) lived with them. James registered for the US Draft on February 26, 1942, and was working at the California Fruit Growers Exchange, at 131 State St, in, Boston, Mass. at the time. After enlistment on Oct 9, 1942, Corporal Downey assignments with the United States Marine Corps, before deployment to the Pacific, were as follows: Oct 1942 - Private, 13th Recruit Battalion, Recruit Depot, Marine Barracks, Parris Island, South Carolina Apr – July 1943 – Private 1st Class, HQ & HQ Company, Recruit Depot, Marine Barracks, Parris Island, SC Oct 1943 - Corporal, HQ & HQ Company, Recruit Depot, Marine Barracks, Parris Island, SC Jan – July 1944 - Corporal, HQ & HQ Company, Recruit Depot, Marine Barracks, Parris Island, SC Oct 1944 – Corporal, 8th Training Battalion, Infantry Training Regt, Training Command, Fleet Marine Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina Corporal James Bazil Downey served with the 5th Marine Division in the Pacific Theatre. He took part in the landings and hard fought capture of Iwo Jima (Iō Tō), in the Japanese Volcano Islands. Iwo Jima was of great strategic importance. It’s capture meant US B-29 bombers would then be in range of the island of Japan. Although the iconic picture of the second flag raising occurred on Feb 23, 1945, the fighting on Iwo Jima continued until March 26, 1945. James Bazil Downey and was killed in action March 8, 1945, at Iwo Jima. He was initially interred at the Iwo Jima 5th Marine Division Cemetery, and re-interred February 24, 1949, at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii.
James Bazil Downey
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