Tuesday, July 4, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Lt. Ray Penrod, USS Meredith

Lt. Ray Penrod served on the USS Meredith until it was sunk near Guadalcanal on October 15, 1942.

On this Independence Day, let us remember these words from the third verse of America the Beautiful, written by Katharine Lee Bates in 1911:

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!

Ray Oliver Penrod never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on July 4, 1917 in Illinois. His parents were also both born in Illinois. His father worked as a garage machinist who later owned his own garage. Ray was an only child. By 1940 Ray was attending the US Naval Academy. He graduated with the class of 1941. At some point after graduating he married his wife Mary Kathryne.

Lt. Penrod served on the destroyer USS Meredith. The Meredith was one of the newer destroyers, beginning service in March 1941. It engaged in escort and anti-submarine duty in the Atlantic until it was assigned to accompany the carrier USS Hornet to the Pacific where it took part in the famous Doolittle Raid on Tokyo in April 1942. By September it was in the Solomon Islands supporting the Guadalcanal Campaign.

On the morning of October 15, 1942 the Meredith was caught by a group of 28 Japanese planes from the Japanese carrier Zuikaku. The destroyer was hit by 14 bombs and 7 torpedoes. It sank within 10 minutes. From a crew of 273, 192 were killed including Lt. Penrod.

His grave is at Anna Cemetery in Anna, Illinois. I was not able to find out what happened to his widow. 

Thank you Ray for your sacrifice. Let's Earn It for Ray.

Thanks to Darillyn Lamb Starr for recommending that Ray be profiled.

On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!

To mark having over 100,000 visits to my project to honor the fallen of WW2 on their 100th birthdate, I created this video to share. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY

Follow on Twitter @ww2fallen100
Join the public Facebook group WW2 Fallen 100

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