Previously, blog posts covering Jewish military casualties reported in The New York Times have covered men who served in the United States Army, whether in the Army ground forces, or Army Air Force.
This post is different, for it concerns a member of the United States Navy.
On July 22, 1945, the Times published an obituary for Torpedoeman’s Mate Third Class Jerome Ernest Faber, a crewman of the U.S.S. Longshaw (DD-559), a Destroyer lost off Okinawa on May 18.
The Longshaw, a Fletcher-Class destroyer commissioned on December 4, 1943. The ship served in the Hollandia, Marianas, Western Carolinas, Leyte, Luzon, and Iwo Jima Operations, ultimately taking part in the invasion of Okinawa, where she arrived on March 25, providing naval gunfire against Japanese ground targets in support of American troops.
On May 18, after a four-day interval of continuous support of American ground forces on the island, she became trapped – at 0719 hours – on an undersea coral reef. At 1101 hours, almost immediately after the tug U.S.S. Arikara (ATF 98) arrived and attempted to take the destroyer in tow, Japanese coastal artillery straddled the sea between the Arikara and Longshaw. Under the command of Lieutenant Commander Clarence W. Becker, the destroyer fired back, but soon after received a direct hit in her forward magazine, which exploded, blowing off the ship’s bow and devastating the vessel. Half her officer compliment, Lt. Cdr. Becker among them, and 66 sailors were killed.
Between 1105 and 1115 an “abandon ship” order was relayed among the destroyer crew by word of mouth, and by 1200 hours, Infantry landing craft LCI(M)-356 evacuated survivors. After those crewmen (7 of whom later died of wounds) had been taken off the vessel or rescued, the ship was by sunk – later the same day – by gunfire and torpedoes from American ships.
An image of the Longshaw (date unknown) from Wikimedia commons.
The Longshaw, after the explosion of her forward magazine. This photograph, from Navsource.org, was taken by RM2C David M. Nelson of LCI(M)-356.
Another image of the mortally wounded Longshaw, from Navsource.org. This image was also taken by RM2C David M. Nelson.
Torpedoman’s Mate 3C Jerome Ernest Faber, formerly of 3504 Rochambeau Avenue, the Bronx, a member of the crew of the U.S.S. Longshaw and credited with thirteen engagements in the Pacific Theatre, was killed in action off Okinawa on May 18, when his ship was shelled and sunk after being caught on a coral reef, according to word received by his mother, Mrs. Siegfried Faber of 3509 Eleventh Street, N.W., Washington. He was 19 years old.
Before entering the Navy in 1943, he was employed by the Allied Typographical Company, here. He went to sea the following year.
Torpedoeman Faber, serial number 7111868, was born in New York, New York, to Siegfried and Josephine Faber on August 3, 1925. His siblings included sisters Beatrice Weinberg and Esther Francisco, and brother Bernard.
A notice commemorating Torpedoeman Faber appeared in the Memorial Section of the New York Times obituary pages on April 2, 1949. According to the FindAGrave website, a commemorative headstone exists for him at Cedar Park Cemetery, in Paramus, New Jersey.
A 2016 Google Maps (what else?!…) image of 3504 Rochambeau Avenue in the Bronx, the original home of the Faber family.
Some other Jewish military casualties on Friday, May 18, 1945, include…
Killed in Action
– .ת.נ.צ.ב.ה. –
“No one has heard from him or any of the others with him.”
A newspaper article about Seaman First Class Murray Kushner – also a casualty on the Longshaw – appeared in the Herald Statesman (Yonkers), located through Tom Tyrinski’s FultonHistory website, is presented below, followed by his biographical information.
Kushner, Murray, S1C, 9081610, Purple Heart (Killed off Okinawa)
United States Navy, USS Longshaw (DD-559)
Mrs. Shirley Marilyne (Friedman) Kushner (wife), 74 Post St., Yonkers, N.Y. (Married 6/29/41)
Tablets of the Missing at Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii
Casualty Lists 7/8/45, 8/10/45
The Herald Statesman (Yonkers) 7/12/45, 7/27/45
American Jews in World War Two – 370
Levinson, Gabriel R., 2 Lt., 0-785639, Bombardier, Air Medal, Purple Heart, 5 Missions
United States Army Air Force, 5th Air Force, 43rd Bomb Group, 65th Bomb Squadron
Mrs. Alice R. (Lotker) Levinson (wife), 35-20 190th St., Flushing, N.Y.
Mr. Max Levinson (father); David and Shirley (brother and sister), Philadelphia, Pa.
Studied physics at Penn State University
MACR 14531, B-24J 42-109684; “Smitty, Jr.”, Pilot: 2 Lt. Charles R. Wilt; 11 crewmen – 7 survivors
Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines
Casualty Lists 6/14/45, 3/22/46
Long Island Star Journal 6/15/45, 3/20/46
New York Sun 9/15/43
American Jews in World War Two – 378
Lt. Levinson was one of the four aviators who lost their lives after bailing out of Second Lieutenant Charles R. Wilt’s B-24J Liberator Smitty, Jr., during a mission to Tainan, Formosa. The plane was struck by flak, and possibly debris from the destruction of the 65th Bomb Squadron’s lead aircraft, B-24M 44-42358, piloted by 1 Lt. James J. Franklin (from whose crew of 11 there were no survivors). Lt. Wilt’s crew parachuted over the South China sea, south of the city of Takao.
(A search of Fold3.com’s MACR database reveals no Missing Air Crew Report for Lt. Franklin’s plane and crew. However, the crew’s names can be found in the KensMen Casualty List.)
The Missing Air Crew Report for Smitty, Jr., covers the loss of plane in very great detail, through statements given by the seven survivors after their rescue by Navy PBY (Catalina) seaplanes. While all eleven crewmen were witnessed – in mid-air- to have opened their parachutes none of the four missing men were seen afterwards.
Like some MACRs for aircraft lost at sea, for which some (but not all) of the crew were rescued, next-of-kin information is only listed for casualties, not airmen who survived. Thus, MACR 14351 gives next-of-kin and address information only for Lt. Levinson, Lt. Straeck (Co-Pilot), and Cpls. Stauffer and Christensen (gunners).
These first two pages summarize details about how the plane and crew, and provide a very brief description about how the plane was lost.
Rudsten, Leon Samuel, PFC, 926304, Purple Heart (Okinawa)
United States Marine Corps, 6th Marine Division, 29th Marine Regiment, 3rd Battalion, G Company
Mr. Philip Rudsten (father), 23 Angell St., Dorchester, Ma.
Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii – Plot N-1344; Buried 3/2/49
American Jews in World War Two – 177
Tauss, Martin William, PFC, 902748, Purple Heart (Okinawa)
United States Marine Corps, 6th Marine Division, 29th Marine Regiment, 3rd Battalion, H Company
Mr. and Mrs. Sam and Lillian Tauss (parents), 676 Water St., New York, N.Y.
Beth David Cemetery, Elmont, N.Y.
Casualty Lists 6/23/45, 7/8/45
American Jews in World War Two – 460
Nirenberg, Albert A., S/Sgt., 33341122 (Wounded on Okinawa)
United States Army
Mr. Charles Nirenberg (father), 2635 N. 31st St., Philadelphia, Pa.
Born 12/24/21; Died 7/19/03
Jewish Exponent 7/13/45
Philadelphia Bulletin 7/2/45
Philadelphia Record 7/3/45
American Jews in World War Two – 541
USS Longshaw (at Hazegray.org)
USS Longshaw (at NavSource Naval History)
USS Longshaw (at U.S.S. Salt Lake City (CA25) (Heavy Cruiser))
USS Longshaw (at Wikipedia)
USS Longshaw (at Wrecksite)
USS Longshaw Casualty List – 86 names, with serial numbers and next-of-kin information (at Wrecksite)
Dublin, Louis I., and Kohs, Samuel C., American Jews in World War II – The Story of 550,000 Fighters for Freedom, The Dial Press, New York, N.Y., 1947
Roscoe, Theodore, Tin Cans – The True Story of the Fighting Destroyers of World War II, Bantam Books, New York, N.Y., 1968