Photographs, ephemera (identification cards), correspondence, printed materials and forms, U.S. Navy uniform parts, and museum objects pertaining to U.S. Naval Reserve Radioman 3rd Class Jim Will Spry's training at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center, Chicago, IL and service aboard the destroyer escort USS CATES (DE-763) in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans during and after World War II.
Jim Will Spry was born on August 31, 1927 in Bradyville, Tennessee. His family eventually moved to Wayne, Michigan where Spry attended high school and worked as a stock boy at an A & P supermarket. He enlisted in the service on October 26, 1944. Spry was on active duty from November 22, 1944 to April 8, 1946. During his time of service, he attended the U.S. Naval Training Center in Great Lakes, IL, the Fleet Sonar School in Key West, FL and served aboard the USS CATES (DE 763). Spry earned the Victory Ribbon, American Area Ribbon and the Asiatic Pacific Ribbon.
Spry's papers include military service-related photographs, ephemera (identification cards), correspondence, printed materials and artifacts. Among the artifacts are parts of Spry's uniform along with various pieces of related regalia. Also among the artifacts, and of particular interest, is a Japanese souvenir flag believed to have been obtained by Spry from a Japanese soldier. The flag was interpreted by Dr. Nobuaki Takahashi, an assistant professor at East Carolina University. Takahashi's findings indicate that the flag was presented to a drafted Japanese soldier, Nakamura (surname), Tomezoo (given name), upon his leaving for military duty. Along with the obvious footprints of a young child are several wishes by friends and family members. These include: "Do Your Best and Wait for Answer From a Supernatural Power" (an old proverb from the soldier's father), "Take Care, my Brother" (from the soldier's brother), "Congratulations for Your Draft," "Keep Fighting and Keep Winning," "Take Good Care of This Country," "God is on Our Side," "Sacrifice Your Body to the Country," "Rapid Stream," "Win, Triumph, Loyalty," "Don't Stop Shooting" and "I Wish You the Best for Your Military Success." There is no mention of the flag in any other part of the collection. However, the collection does contain a certificate giving permission for Spry to retain as property "one Japanese bolt-action and one (1) bayonette, both souvenirs of World War II."
See container list for more item details.
Gift of Mary Louise Spry
Encoded by Mark Custer, January 25, 2008
Processed by: Katherine Moore May 2005 Dale Sauter, 2009
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.