Ira Weil Jeffery never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on March 8, 1918 in Minnesota. His parents David and Carolyn were born in Romania and Minnesota, respectively. His father worked as a wholesale jeweler. Ira was an only child. By 1940 Ira had graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in business.
He enlisted in the US Navy on August 30, 1940. He reached the rank of ensign and was assigned to serve on the battleship USS California on July 25, 1941.
Ensign Jeffery was aboard California on December 7, 1941 when it was struck by two Japanese torpedoes. The torpedoes damaged the mechanical hoists that replenished the anti-aircraft ammunition. He participated with a group of sailors to manually pass up the ammunition from below deck. While so engaged, a Japanese bomb exploded on the second deck. Ensign Jeffery was one of 100 men killed on the California. He was recognized by a commendation from the Secretary of the Navy for the actions that led to his death.
His grave is at Temple Israel Memorial Park, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
In 1943 the Navy commissioned the destroyer escort USS Ira W. Jeffery, the first Navy ship named after a Jewish person.
Thank you Ira for your sacrifice. Let's Earn It for Ira.
Last year on this date I profiled P-38 pilot Leo Mayo. You can read about Leo here.
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!
I created this video to explain why I started this project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY.
Please consider joining the public Facebook group to increase the exposure of this project. Go to: WW2 Fallen 100