Thursday, May 8, 2008

Update on Bridgewater Veteran Sailors


The two Bridgewater sailors, brothers John Manley Pierpont, age 23, and Robert Atwill Pierpont, age 24, were killed aboard USS Jarvis, in the Pacific Theater of Operations, on 7 August 1942. They resided at 1163 Summer Street and were the sons of Myron Atwill and Helen Pierpont.

Through the efforts and diligence of Madelyn Kubiak of Bridgewater and Lawrence Noonan of West Bridgewater, the sister of the bothers was located and the information obtained. It now brings to a close a tragic chapter in the history of Bridgewater. “The fallen, gone but never forgotten.”

USS Jarvis (DD-393), 1937-1942

USS Jarvis, a 1500-ton Bagley class destroyer built at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, was commissioned in October 1937. After shakedown and alterations, she spent the next two years operating in the eastern Pacific and the Caribbean. Jarvis was based in HawaiiJapan. She was tied up at the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard when the Japanese attacked and used her guns in the efforts to repel the Japanese aircraft. after April 1940, taking part in the U.S. Fleet's preparations for the increasingly likely outbreak of war with

During the next seven months, Jarvis participated in several operations, including the abortive Wake Island Relief expedition in December 1941, anti-submarine patrols and aircraft carrier screening duties in January 1942 and escorting convoy to Australia, in February-March and May-June 1942. Jarvis was then employed on patrol and escort work in the south Pacific until mid-July, when she joined the task force that was preparing for the U.S. Navy's first major Pacific War offensive undertaking, the invasion of Guadalcanal and Tulagi.

Arriving in the invasion area on 7 August 1942, Jarvis covered the landing forces as they put U.S. Marines ashore. The next day, she was hit by a torpedo when Japanese aircraft counter-attacked. Though badly damaged and down at the bow, she was still seaworthy enough to proceed independently to Australia for repairs. While steaming past the northeastern end of Guadalcanal Jarvis was attacked by an overwhelming force of Japanese land-based bombers. Hit repeatedly, she was lost with her entire crew. during the night of 9 August, she was briefly and ineffectively engaged by Japanese ships during the Battle of Savo Island. Shortly after noon on that day, USS was attacked by an overwhelming force of Japanese land-based bombers. Hit repeatedly, she was lost with her entire crew.

RODERICK K. WALSH

Director
Veterans’ Services
(508) 697-0908

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