Devereux, James Patrick Sinnott

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Devereux, James Patrick Sinnott, born 20-02-1903 in Cabana, Cuba, where his father, an Army surgeon, was stationed. In 1910, the family moved to Chevy Chase, Maryland. There, Devereux, one of ten children, rode to the hounds in Rock Creek Park and played polo. At age 10 he obtained a driver’s license from the District of Columbia, which had no age requirement at the time. Devereux also attended the Army and Navy Preparatory School in Washington, D.C., the Tome School at Port Deposit, Maryland, LaVilla in Lausanne, Switzerland, when his parents lived in Vienna, Austria, and Loyola College of Baltimore, Maryland. Devereux enlisted in the United States Marine Corps  in July 1923 at age 20, was commissioned a second lieutenant in February 1925, and then was assigned to duty in Norfolk, Virginia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Marine Barracks at Quantico, Virginia, and at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In 1926, he was detailed to the mail guard detachment in New York and later was transferred to the force of Marines in Nicaragua as a company officer. Returning to the United States early in 1927, he was assigned to the USS Utah and subsequently was transferred ashore again to Nicaragua. The USS Utah capsizing off Ford Island, during the attack on Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941, after being torpedoed by Japanese aircraft.
USS_Utah  USS-Utah-AG-16-capsizing
Shortly thereafter he was ordered to the Orient and while in China was promoted to first lieutenant. Other duty in China included command of the Mounted Detachment of the Legation Guard at Peking. In 1933, following a year’s tour of duty at Quantico, he was assigned to the Coast Artillery School at Fort Monroe, Virginia. Following his promotion to captain in December 1935, he was ordered back to Quantico, where, until 1936, he instructed in the Base Defense Weapons School and aided in the preparation of a Marine Corps manual on Base Defense Weapons. In 1938, following a tour of duty with the Marine Detachment on board the USS Utah, Devereux was transferred to the Marine Corps Base at San Diego. In January 1941, Devereux was ordered to Pearl Harbor and later assumed command of the First Marine Defense Battalion on Wake Island. On the morning of 08-12-1941, he received the message that Pearl Harbor had been attacked by the Japanese. In the fight that followed, then major Devereux and his men damaged two cruisers, sank two destroyers, one escort vessel, and destroyed or damaged a total of 72 aircraft, and probably sank one submarine. Two more destroyers were damaged the last day. After days of bitter fighting, the 449 Marines surrendered to the Japanese on 23-12-1941. After his capture, he remained on Wake Island until 12-01-1942 when he was sent away with his men on the Nita Maru. He stopped at Yokohama, where some American officers debarked, but later arrived at Woosung, China, located downriver from Shanghai, on January, 24. He remained there until 09-12-1942, when he was transferred to Kiangwan prison, together with some men of the James “Jimmy” Doolittle
      Tokyo Raid, where Devereux spent 29 months imprisoned.
    For five weeks, he stayed at Fungtai, near Peiping, and then was transferred to camps in central Hokkai  ,dō. Devereux was released from the Hokkaidō Island prison camp on 15-09-1945. After a brief rehabilitation leave, he was assigned as a student in the Senior Course at the Amphibious Warfare School at Quantico from September 1946 to May 1947. Upon completion of his studies, he was detached to the First Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, Oceanside, California, and was serving with that organization when he concluded his 25-year career on 01-08-1948. In 1947, his book, Story of Wake Island, was published. Devereux was advanced to the rank of Brigadier General upon retirement in accordance with law, having been specially commended for the performance of duty in actual combat. For his leadership in defending the tiny American outpost for 15 days against overwhelming odds, Devereux was awarded the Navy Cross. His citation reads, The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Major James Patrick Sinnott Devereux, United States Marine Corps, for distinguished and heroic conduct in the line of his profession, as Commanding Officer of the First Marine Defense Battalion, Naval Air Station, Wake Island. Major Devereux was responsible for directing defenses of that post during the Japanese siege from 7 through December 22, 1941, against impossible odds. Major Devereux’s inspiring leadership and the valiant devotion to duty of his command contributed in large measure to the outstanding success of these vital missions and reflect great credit upon the United States Naval Service.

Death and burial ground of Devereux, James Patrick Sinnott.

   James Devereux died old age of 85 on 05-08-1988 in Balimore, Maryland and is buried with his wife Mary, born Welch, who died young age 28 on 22-07-1942, on Arlington National Cemetery, Section 7. There only daughter Kathryn died on the day she was born, on 31-08-1934. Close by in Section 7, buried the Air Corps Lieutenant General, Head of the American Air Force, Frank Andrews. Close by in Section 7, the Major General, Commander 35th Division, “Sante Fe Division” , Paul Baade, First Allied Airborne Army, U.S. 2* Air Force Lieutenant General, Operation “Market Garden”, Louis Brereton, General, Chief of Staff of Sixth Army, George Decker, General, Commander 85th Infantry Division “Custer” , Wade “Ham” Haislip, Brigadier General, Commander U.S. Marine Corps, Lemuel Shephrd Jr and General, Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, John Hull.


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