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Remembering World War II
Name: James Freeman Card Rank: Fireman Second Class Service Number: 617373 Service: USS (USCGC) Escanaba (WPG-77), United States Coast Guard Awards: Purple Heart Date of Birth: October 29, 1916 Place of Birth: Malden, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Date of Enlistment: Unknown Place of Enlistment: Unknown Address at Enlistment: Unknown Age at Enlistment: Unknown Marital Status: Single at enlistment Next of Kin: Carolyn V. Card (Mother) Date of Death: June 13, 1943 Age: 26 Cemetery: East Coast Memorial, Battery Park, New York, New York Reference: Tablets of the Missing James Freeman Card was the son of William Lawson Card (1889-1937) and Carolyn (Vickery) Card Wickwire (1895–1959). His father was born in Gaspereau, Kings County, Nova Scotia. His mother was born in Wolfville, also in Kings Co., NS. William immigrated to the United States in 1909 travelling from Yarmouth to Boston by ship. James’ siblings were William Rupert Card (1914–1981), Marion Alice Card (1920-1989), and Malcolm Lester Card (1925-2005). All the three Card brothers served. Malcolm also served in the US Navy, with the Seabees in California, enlisting March 31, 1943, and discharged December 8, 1945; Seaman 1st Class. He also served as a police officer. William was a Sergeant and served in the Pacific during WWII. He enlisted March 7, 1941, until February 3, 1948, enlisting again February 5, 1948, and serving until September 12, 1962. He retired at the rank of Captain. James graduated from Malden High School in 1935. He was employed in the Boston Market district before enlisting. James served on the USS Escanaba during WWII. The USS or USCGC Escanaba (the US refers to all of its commissioned ships as USS whether they are Navy or Coast Guard but the Coast Guard also uses the term USCGC, or United States Coast Guard Cutter) for its vessels, was an “A” type Coast Guard cutter. On February 3, 1943, Escanaba participated in the rescue of the survivors of the SS Dorchester, which had been torpedoed by a German submarine. The rescue was marked by the Escanaba's historic first use of rescue swimmers clad in survival suits to aid survivors, who were too weakened by shock or hypothermia in the icy water to pull themselves up cargo nets or sea ladders to the safety and warmth of rescuers' ships, or even to hold on to ropes cast to them from the rescue vessel. By way of the lines the rescue swimmers tied around those who were having trouble helping themselves, many struggling survivors who--debilitated by the cold--would have otherwise died, were hauled aboard the Escanaba by crewmen on deck. Even those in the water who appeared to be dead were harnessed by the retrieval swimmers and pulled aboard – it was found that only 12 of the 50 apparently dead victims thus brought aboard by the retrieval teams actually turned out to be dead. The rest proved themselves to be quite alive once given the benefit of warmth, dryness, and medical attention. On June 10, 1943, the Escanaba began escorting her last convoy, GS-24 from Narsarsuaq, Kujalleq municipality in southern Greenland to St. John's, Newfoundland, in company with the USS Mojave (WPG-47), the flagship, the USS Tampa (WPG-48), the USS Storis, and USS Algonquin (WPG-75). The vessels they were tasked to escort were USAT Fairfax and the tug USS Raritan (WYT-93). On June 13, 1943, the USS Escanaba apparently hit a mine (possibly hit by a torpedo) causing her to sink very quickly. Out of the crew of 105 only 2 survivors were rescued, Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Melvin A. Baldwin and Seaman 1st Class Raymond F. O'Malley, Jr. The remains of Executive Officer Lt. Robert Henry Prause, Jr were also found. Fireman 2nd Class James Freeman Card has no known grave and is therefore remembered on the Tablets of the Missing at the East Coast Memorial in Battery Park in Lower Manhattan, New York City, New York. The memorial commemorates those soldiers, sailors, Marines, coast guardsmen, merchant mariners and airmen who met their deaths in the service of their country in the western waters of the Atlantic Ocean during WWII. Its axis is oriented on the Statue of Liberty. He is also remembered on a family grave marker at the Wyoming Cemetery in Melrose, Massachusetts, and on the war memorial at the Bell Rock Park in Malden, Mass.
James Freeman Card
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