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James W. Irwin
March 17, 1922 - November 9, 1942

Information taken from The Portsmouth Times, Saturday, January 16, 1943, pp. 1 & 2.

Soldier at Minford Killed in Battle
Third Message Sent on Fate of Sergeant Irwin

Another Scioto County soldier boy has given his life for his country.

Mr. and Mrs. Frank W. Irwin of Minford received word Friday from the war department that their son, Sergeant James W. Irwin, 20, had been killed in action.

He was in north Africa when last heard from and the letter was marked, "date unknown."

He was first reported as missing.

On December 9, Mr. and Mrs. Irwin received a message that their son was missing while in service and on December 15 they received word he had been captured by the enemy.

Sergeant Irwin was born in Minford on March 17, 1932*.  He was graduated from Minford High School in 1939 and enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps for three years on September 29, 1940.

He trained at Chanute Field, Ill, from October until June and then was assigned to an air corps technical school at Ft. Logan, Denver, Colorado from which he was graduated December 5, 1941.

He was home the last time in 1941.

He was home on a 15-day furlough when he was transferred to the 16th observation squadron at Ft. Benning, Georgia on December 23, 1941.

Later, he served at Daniel Field and Robbins Field, Georgia; High Point, NC, Charlotte Airport, Charlotte, North Carolina and at Langley Field, Virginia.

At the time of his death he was serving as personnel officer of his squadron.

He is survived by his parents and a brother and sister, Jack W. Irwin, 16, and Betty Ann Irwin, 14, both at home.

His father is a truck driver at the Portsmouth post office.

*The date of his birth in this article is incorrect.

Information given by Mr. Joseph Stockham, a member of the James Irwin American Legion Post 622 stated that:

James Irwin arrived on a ship near the coast of North Africa.  Before James Irwin had the opportunity to disembark from the ship, it was hit by a mortar, and Sgt. James W. Irwin was burned to death on board the ship.  

The Portsmouth Times, June 26, 1948, p. 14:

Sgt. James W. Irwin of Minford, a son, Jack of Dayton and a daughter, Mrs. Ed Morris also of Minford, have returned from Washington D. C. after attending funeral rites for their son, Sgt. James W. Irwin, in Arlington National Cemetery.

Sgt. Irwin lost his life on November 9, 1942, in landing operations in the invasion of French Morocco, North Africa.  His body was returned from a temporary cemetery at Fedala, French Morocco.

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