Adams County

Harley Dean Figgins


News About Adams County
Men and Women in the Service

ABOARD THE USS INDIANAPOLIS SOMEWHERE IN THE WESTERN PACIFIC (Delayed) – Harley D. Figgins, water tender, second class, USNR, son of Herman D. Figgins, Route 2, Corning, Ia., fought aboard this heavy cruiser when her big guns pounced the enemy at Okinawa to avenge the dark days of 1942 when they spoke only defensively against the then-dominant Japanese.

Recent exploits of the Indianapolis as a member of the potent Pacific Fleet in attacks on Tokyo, Iwo Jima and Okinawa helped erase memories of the desperate delaying actions of three years ago. She was in on February air strikes by carrier planes against Tokyo and hasn’t missed an important Western Pacific assault since the. Her gunners shot down six enemy planes at Okinawa and contributed to the pre-invasion bombardment of both Okinawa and Iwo Jima. In March she was part of the carrier task force that rained destruction on Kyusha and Honshu in the Japanese heartland. From the war’s early days she has fought the Japs – in the Aleutians, in operations leading to occupation of the Gilbert Islands, in the Tarawa invasion, the seizure of the Marshalls, Eniweick and Kwajalein, and in the Marianas Campaign.

She helped blast the Japs at Saipan, Guam and Tinian and was the first large American combatant vessel to anchor in Apra Harbor at Guam since the war began. During her actions against the Japs, the Indianapolis had downed nine enemy planes and sunk one transport.

Source: Adams County Free Press, Corning, Iowa, Thursday, June 14, 1945, Page 6


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The joy and gladness of V-J Day was dampened for relatives and friends of two Adams county service men, who are reported missing. The word came Monday. Joe Strain, son of Robert Strain of Nodaway, and Harley Figgins, son of Herman Figgins of Carbon, were reported missing in action in the Pacific. Mrs. Strain and two children reside in Carbon. Both boys were serving on the U. S. S. Indianapolis, recently lost in battle with the Japs.

Source: Adams County Free Press, Corning, Iowa, Thursday, August 16, 1945, Page 1