25 April 2013 — Mississippi
James was one of 137 Mississippi boys who enrolled in Company 5464 of the Civilian Conservation Corps May 16, 1936. They received 12 days of conditioning and left Fort McClellan, Alabama at 6 p.m. on May 28, arriving at Laquin, Pennsylvania at 11 a.m. on May 30. The company was at Camp S-103, Rt. 414 Long Valley Road, Laquin, Bradford County; their job was improving Pennsylvania Game Lands Numbers 12 and 36, 35,000 acres.(James Otott Journal, Feb. 9, 1941)
Enlisted 5 Nov 1940 from Mississippi at Montgomery, Alabama. Enlisted (Regular Army) as Private in Army Air Corps. He had 4 years of high school and was a semi-skilled driver of vehicles. He was 70 inches and 130 pounds. James says his beard was red.
He was attached to the 819th Bomber Squadron, 30th Bomber Group, Heavy. He was missing in action on 20 Nov 1943 and his remains were not recoverable. He was awarded the Air Medal with 2 oak leaf clusters and other Army awards. He was a Staff Sergeant. Service Number 14033180. His name is on the Tablet of the Missing, Honolulu Memorial.
The 819th Bombardment Squadron flew B-24 Liberators as part of 30 Bombardment Group, deployed to Wheeler Field Hawaii as part of 7th Air Force. From 1941 to 1943 it was part of the Anti-Submarine Command stationed at various bases along the east coast of the United States.They flew the B-25 Mitchells. After it was redesignated and trained in the B-24 Liberator in California in September 1943, it was sent to Hawaii. They still flew antisubmarine patrols. After James was killed, the Squadron was deployed to Saipan in August 1944 and conducted intensive bombing strikes. Its final bombing mission was at Iwo Jima on Feb 19, 1945, the same day that the Marine divisions invaded.
Family was told he was lost off Tarawa.