Hamilton County


James Oscar Eggen





James Eggen, Randall, Home After Escape in Ship Sinking.

Randall, Iowa—(AP)—A survivor off a sunken aircraft carrier who escaped death by Japanese machine gun fire—James Eggen, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. John Eggen, is home on a 30 day furlough.

Eggen was aboard a U. S. aircraft carrier which was sunk late in October in the South Pacific during the concurrent battles of the Solomon Islands for control of the sea and skies.

The youth arrived here Nov. 27, but the sinking was not announced until Nov. 31 by the navy. According to naval reports the ship went down near the Santa Cruz Islands some 250 miles from Guadalcanal.

When the ship was abandoned, Eggen jumped onto a rubber life raft only to have it shot out from under him by Japanese machine gun fire. Along with some companions, Eggen swam for eight hours before he was rescued.

The sailors landed on a small island where for three days they suffered privation for want of sufficient food and clothing. Later the men were well cared for at an army camp.

Eggen was the second former Randall youth to survive an aircraft carrier sinking. Harris Tweed, whose home is now in Pequot, Minn., was rescued in September when the U. S. S. Wasp was lost in action. He recently returned on a furlough and related how he was saved after being in the water for about seven hours.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - December 9, 1942

James Oscar Eggen was born Feb. 9, 1924 to Jonas and Martha Eggen. He died July 1977 and is buried in Mt. Olive Cemetery, Randall, IA.

James served with the U.S. Navy in World War II and survived the sinking of his ship, the USS Hornet (CV-8) which was irreparably damaged and sunk by enemy destroyers in the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands.

Source: ancestry.com