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First Name: Linwood

Last Name: Muir

Birthplace: East Hartford, Hartford, CT, US

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)

Rating: Quartermaster Petty Officer 1st Class

Home of Record: CT
Middle Name: Robert

Date of Birth: 02 June 1913

Date of Death: 25 November 1945 (Presumed)

MIA Date: 01 March 1942

Rank or Rate: Petty Officer First Class

Years Served: 1930-1945

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Linwood Robert Muir was born on 02 Jun 1913 in East Hartford, Hartford, CT to James Allan and Florence Stiles who married on 14 Feb 1894 in Hartford, Hartford, CT. Linwood was the youngest of eight siblings. Three of his first four siblings died before their first birthday. His siblings were Baby Muir (d.y.), Renie Allison (d.y.), Russell Leland, Helen Isabel (d.y.), Florence Ethel, Mildred Stiles, and Lester Ross Muir.

Linwood’s father, James, emigrated from Bathurst, Gloucester, New Brunswick, Canada about 1876. He was an employee of the New Haven Rail Road for 42 years. He died of a heart attack on board his freight train which was enroute to Hartford from Boston on 30 April 1932.

It was not uncommon that many of the young men of that era turned to the military to help support their families, learn a trade and travel. Linwood was no different. Just before his 17th birthday Linwood submitted an application for enlistment in the US Navy at the US Navy Recruiting Station (NRS), Hartford, CT. After completing general aptitude examinations; submitting personal references, completing administrative paperwork, passing background checks and physical and dental examinations, in addition to securing his father's permission, Linwood was accepted for enlistment. In early July 1930, Linwood enlisted as an Apprentice Seaman (A.S.) in the US Navy (NSN: 207-05-00) for a term of four years along with six other local men. They were C.B. Weir, P.J. Fuchs, J.M. Wodal, A.J. Mazrek, M.B. Galaski and A.S. Przekop. The recruits were sent to the Naval Training Station (NTS) at Newport, R.I. for 10 weeks of basic training.

During training, AS Muir took additional aptitude tests which indicated he qualified to attend the Quartermaster (QM) Service School (Class A School) after completion of basic training. After Linwood completed 10 weeks of training, he was granted 10 days of “Recruit Leave” before returning to NTS Newport, RI to attend QM school. During QM school, AS Muir advanced to Seaman Second Class (S2c). S2c Muir became a QM striker after he successfully completed Class A School and received orders to the gunboat, USS Sacramento (PG-19) which was attached to the Special Service Squadron cruising in the Caribbean.

Sacramento was busy representing US interests in the Caribbean and also providing humanitarian aid to victims of a powerful hurricane that struck Belize City in Honduras in Sept. The following month, Sacramento rescued three shipwrecked sailors from the Cocos Island. They had been stranded for more than 6 months. Muir’s immediate supervisor, Quartermaster Chief Michelfelder, was first to spot the survivors on the Island.

On 11 Jan 1932, Sacramento steamed from Balboa, Canal Zone toward San Diego and San Francisco in preparation for duty with the Asiatic Fleet. Sacramento arrived in Shanghai, China on 01 Apr 1932. She remained in the adjacent waters helping to protect national interests and maintain the peace against an ever belligerent Japan who continued to cause turbulent times in China. In Nov 1934, now Quartermaster Third Class (QM3) Muir, took leave, and returned to the US to marry Florence Jane Whelden in Brewster, Putnam, NY on 24 Nov 1934. Over the next five years, QM3 Muir advanced in rate to QM2 and then Quartermaster First Class (QM1) while on board the Sacramento. Apparently, Mrs Muir remained in Connecticut while her husband was stationed overseas. Finally, after 5 years of separation, Florence divorced Linwood Muir on 10 Sep 1939 in the Hartford, CT District Court, charging him with desertion. They had no children.

Sacramento departed Cavite, Philippines on 12 Jan 1939 and steamed East to New York via the Mediterranean. She served as a training ship in the Great Lakes into 1940 when she returned for refitting in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. QM1 Muir reenlisted in Portsmouth/Norfolk on 6 Jan 1940. Later that year, he reported to the transport ship, USS Chaumont (AP-5), as a passenger bound for the Receiving Ship in San Francisco, CA. He arrived there on 18 Dec 1940. Three days later, QM1 Muir transferred to the Receiving Station, Puget Sound Navy Yard (PSNY) Bremerton, WA for assignment. He reported to PSNY on 29 Dec 1940.

Exactly one month later, Muir transferred from PSNY to the seaplane tender, USS Thorton (AVD-11), for duty. On 31 Jan 1941, QM1 Muir reported on board Thornton (AVD-11). On 5 Mar 1941, Thornton was placed in full commission and on 08 Apr 1941, she reported for duty to Commander-in- Chief, Pacific Fleet at San Pedro, CA. Ten days later, the seaplane tender arrived in Pearl Harbor, and she operated in the Hawaiian Islands until August 1942. During her 16 months in the islands, she made frequent voyages to Midway, Wake, Palmyra and other outlying islands of the 14th Naval District.

In early Nov 1941, QM1 Muir received orders to report to the Asiatic Fleet for duty. On 18 Nov 1941, QM1 Muir transferred from the Thorton (AVD11) to the Receiving Ship, Pearl Harbor. From there, Muir, transferred to the transport ship, USS Chaumont (AP-5) on 21 Nov for his ride to his new duty station. It would be an epic trip.

The Chaumont got underway on 29 Nov 1941 from Pearl Harbor bound for the Philippines. She joined eight other ships that comprised the convoy. The flagship was the troop transport, USS Republic (AP-33).

The convoy, generally known as the Pensacola Convoy for its escort ship, the heavy cruiser, USS Pensacola (CA-24) (also seen by the US Army as the "Republic Convoy"), included the gunboat, USS Niagara (PG-52), US Navy transports USS Republic (AP-33) and USS Chaumont (AP-5), the US Army transport USAT Willard A Holbrook and USAT Meigs; the US Merchant ships S.S. Admiral Halstead and S.S. Coast Farmer, and the Dutch merchant ship MS Bloemfontein.

On board the convoy were 2600 US Army Air Forces personnel some of whom would come in contact with WT2 Moberley on board the USS Edsall in late February 1942. On the Bloemfontein were eighteen crated Curtiss P-40 pursuit planes of the 35th Pursuit Group (PG) while forty-eight pursuit pilots of the 35th PG were embarked on the Republic and thirty-nine newly graduated but as yet unassigned pilots were on board the Holbrook. The presence of these planes and pilots would impact the destiny of the seaplane tender, USS Langley (AV-3), and the USS Edsall (DD-219).

After war broke out, and Japanese forces attacked the Philippines, the convoy was diverted first to Suva, Fiji Islands. The convoy got underway on the 16th from Suva bound for Brisbane, Australia. Pensacola entered the harbor at Brisbane on 22 Dec 1941 and moored at Newstead Wharf. On the afternoon of 28 Dec, Pensacola, along with transports Chaumont and USAT Willard A. Holbrook got underway. On 2 Jan 1942, the Dutch ship MS Bloemfontein joined the convoy. The following morning (03 Jan 42) the convoy made passage through the Torres Strait above Cape York in far North Queensland, Australia. There they were joined by the heavy cruiser USS Houston (CA-30) and several destroyers including USS Edsall (DD-219). Houston relieved Pensacola as the convoy heavy escort, and with her destroyers and convoy ships proceeded to Darwin in the Northern Territory, Australia. Pensacola returned to Brisbane.

On 09 Jan 1942, QM1 Linwood Muir and 11 other sailors with orders to the USS Edsall (DD-219) disembarked from Chaumont in Darwin, Australia, and they reported for duty on board her later that day. Those eleven sailors were; MM1 Horace Wilbern Andrus, TM3 Howard Fritz Baumgarten, CBM (PA) Feliciano Calpo, MMC Guy N. Cantrall, YnC Arthur J. Giese, GM2 Raymond A. Latham, WT2 James G Moberley, CTM Walter Prouty, Ck2c Ruperto Sanares, WTC Elton Smith, and EM3 Lloyd Stover. All perished when Edsall was sunk on 01 Mar 1942 except MM1 Andrus who was rescued by the Japanese cruiser Chikuma. Andrus was taken prisoner by the Japanese and later executed. Prelude to War and the Sinking of the USS Edsall (DD-219)

The threat of hostilities between the United States and Japan grew closer to the boiling point as the year 1941 began. Asiatic Fleet CINC, Admiral Thomas C. Hart, determined then it was time to send all of the families of his sailors home. There was push-back from the resentful spouses who initially declined to leave their husbands. It was only a threat to indefinitely restrict their spouses to their ships without leave that finally convinced the families; it was time to comply with orders and return to the continental United States (CONUS). Admiral Hart's directive probably saved many family members from internment by the Japanese or worse. For many of the married sailors, it was the last time they would ever see their families.

Then, in July 1941, as Japanese aggression intensified with their move south into lower Indo-China, Admiral Hart warned his officers that he had no doubt that war would come although he didn’t know how or when it would start. Hart trained his destroyer crews hard keeping them on a war-footing for extended periods and away from Cavite naval base as much as possible exercising his “defensive deployment.”

Ordered to comply with Adm. Hart’s “defensive deployment” well south of Manila, units of the Asiatic Fleet, including destroyer tender USS Blackhawk (AD-9), USS Edsall (DD-219) and other ships of Destroyer Division (DesDiv) 57, got underway on 25 Nov 1941, and arrived on the morning of 29 Nov 1941 in Balikpapan, a major oil port on the eastern coast of Borneo.

On 8 Dec 1941, Edsall, an element of Destroyer Division 57 (DESDIV), was enroute to Batavia (Djakarta) when word of the attacks on Pearl Harbor was received. The division altered course to Singapore to act as ASW screen for Force Z. From Singapore, Edsall was sent to search for survivors of HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse, sunk off Malaya on 10 Dec. No survivors were found. It was learned later that other ships had retrieved the survivors. For the next month, Edsall and other units of DESDIV 57 were used to escort shipping to and from Australia. It was on one of these escort trips that Edsall participated in the sinking of IJN submarine (I-124) off Darwin. Several days later, Edsall was damaged during another attack on a suspected submarine. One of Edsall's depth charges exploded prematurely in shallow water damaging one of Edsall’s propeller shafts. This damage would play an important role in her eventual sinking.

On 3 February, Edsall and other American units of the American-British-Dutch-Australian Force (ABDA) moved up to Tjilatjap, Java in order to be closer to the combat theater and refueling facilities. She continued her service as a patrol vessel off southern Java. On 26 February, she steamed from Tjilatjap with her sister ship USS Whipple (DD-217) to rendezvous with the converted seaplane tender USS Langley (AV-3) carrying P-40E fighters and crews for the defense of Java. On 27 February, the Langley, along with Edsall and Whipple, came under attack by sixteen (16) Mitsubishi G4M "Betty" bombers of the Japanese 21st and 23rd Naval Air Flotillas and escorted by fifteen (15) A6M Reisen fighters. The attack fatally damaged Langley. She had to be abandoned and later scuttled by Whipple. Edsall rescued 177 survivors; Whipple, 308.

On 28 February, the two destroyers rendezvoused with the fuel replenishment ship USS Pecos (AO-6) off Flying Fish Cove, Christmas Island some 250 miles southwest of Tjilatjap. A sudden attack by land based Japanese bombers forced Edsall and the other ships to head for the open sea. They headed directly south into the Indian Ocean for the rest of 28 February in high winds and heavy seas. Early in the pre-dawn hours of 1 March, Whipple and Edsall transferred all the Langley survivors to Pecos. There were now close to 700 personnel on board the ship. Whipple then set off for Cocos Islands as protection for the tanker Belita sent to meet her there. The Pecos, carrying a large number of survivors was ordered to Australia. Edsall had retained 32 USAAF personnel from Langley needed to assemble and fly an additional 27 P-40E fighters shipped to Tjilatjap aboard the transport Sea Witch. Edsall was instructed to return these "fighter crews" to Tjilatjap. At 0830, she reversed course and headed back to the northeast for Java.

At noon that day, planes from Japanese aircraft carrier Soryu attacked Pecos and struck again an hour later. Finally, in mid-afternoon, third and fourth strikes from aircraft carriers Hiryu and Akagi fatally wounded the Pecos. While under attack, Pecos radioed for help. After Pecos sank, Whipple returned to the scene intentionally arriving after dark. She eventually rescued 232 survivors. Many other survivors, although visible to crewmembers on board Whipple, had to be abandoned at sea because Whipple made sonar contact with what was believed to be several Japanese submarines. It was just too dangerous for her to remain in the area. Edsall may have heard Pecos’s call for help or she may have been complying with orders to reverse course and steam toward Australia.

Mrs Florence Muir (mother) received a telegram on 22 March 1942 from Rear Admiral Randall Jacobs, chief of the Bureau of Navigation of the US Navy. It read: "The Navy Department regrets to inform you that the ship to which your son, Linwood Robert Muir, of the US navy was attached, has been lost in action. Information received indicates there may be some survivors, but no positive information regarding your son has been received."

For the next three years in March the Navy sent a letter to Mrs Muir to update the status of QM1 Muir. In early Dec 1945, the final letter came explaining why QM1 Muir was being declared "presumed" dead. The official date of his "presumed" death was 25 Nov 1945. The final muster report for Edsall on 01 Mar 1942 (written several years later) shows that QM1 Linwood Robert Muir was missing in action on 01 Mar 1942 and presumed dead on 25 Nov 1945. His remains were unrecoverable.

For whatever the reason, Edsall reversed course and was never heard from again. The US Navy Department simply said Edsall was lost due to enemy action. The US Navy Department declared all Edsall crewmembers “presumed” dead on 25 Nov 1945. This finding of presumptive death date was fixed in order to take care of settlements and claims. At that point no one suspected that survivors from Edsall were among many victims of war crimes on Celebes.

Because no known survivors lived to tell the story, the details surrounding the sinking of Edsall remained largely a mystery for more than a half century. Finally, after historians compiled bits and pieces of information from various allied sources over the years, Japanese records and eyewitnesses on the Chikuma recently became available. The new information points to a short but epic battle involving the aging Edsall and one of the world's strongest naval forces of its day.

After Edsall reversed her course on 01 Mar 1942 and steamed away from Java, she stumbled upon Admiral Nagumo's battle force, Kido Butai, that had been prowling the Indian Ocean in search of enemy shipping. Unfortunately, Edsall was spotted first. She was misidentified as a light cruiser of the Marblehead class. IJN battleships Hiei and Kirishima and heavy cruisers Tone and Chikuma were detached from the battle force to attack Edsall with surface gunfire.

The old four-stacker began evasive maneuvers frustrating the Japanese for the next hour and half. However, because of the damage done previously to one of her propeller shafts, Edsall was unable to make top speed or maneuver fully. At one point Edsall turned and launched her torpedoes narrowly missing Chikuma. The Japanese fired some 1400 rounds resulting in only one or two direct hits. The frustrated Admiral Nagumo called upon his carriers to finish off the Edsall. She was attacked by dive-bombers from two Japanese carriers (Kaga, Soryu,) and possibly a third (Hiryu) before succumbing to this devastating attack. The Edsall went down at 1900 hours, 01 Mar 1942, 430 miles south of Java.

Japanese eyewitnesses confirm that at least eight Edsall crewman from a large number of survivors were fished out of the water and brought on board the Chikuma. The rest of the survivors were left to their fate in the water. Chikuma and the rest of the battle force arrived at Staring Bay anchorage, Celebes on 11 Mar 1942. Three dozen POWs, 8 or more from the Edsall and the remainder from a Dutch ship, were turned over to the Japanese Special Naval Landing Forces based at Kendari where they were executed on 24 Mar 1942 near Kendari II airfield.

After WWII ended, an Allied War Crimes Tribunal was convened in Java. During the course of the Tribunal's investigations, an eyewitness to Japanese executions was discovered and interviewed. He testified that he witnessed the execution by the Japanese of a number of POWs in 1942. He led investigators to the Japanese Execution Grounds mass grave, Kendari II, Celebes, N.E.I. Five sets of remains in a group of about 10 were later identified from ID tags as USS Edsall crewmen. The other five were unknown but were possibly US Army Air force personnel on board Edsall from the Langley. A sixth set of remains were found in another burying ground on Celebes. They were identified by an ID tag as those of Fireman Second Class (F2) Loren Stanford Myers, a crewman from the Edsall.

All of these remains were disinterred and reburied in the US Military Cemetery, Barrackpore, India on 12 Nov 1946. After three years, their remains were disinterred again and reburied in a mass grave at the National cemetery at Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, MO on 20 Dec 1949. The remains of F2 Myers were reinterred according to immediate family wishes in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, HI on 31 Mar 1950. With the discovery of these remains, their presumed date of death was amended to 02 Mar 1942.


U.S. National Cemetery Interment Control Forms, 1928-1962 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012, MM2 J.R. Cameron, USN, died 2 Mar 1942 overseas. Remains returned from overseas WWII. Group burial with MM1 Horace W. Andrus, F1c Sydney Griffith Amory, MM3c Larry Vandiver, and F1c Donald F. Watters at Jefferson Barracks. MO on 20 Dec 1949.


QM1 Muir was (posthumously) awarded the Purple Heart, American Defense Medal with Fleet Clasp, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with Fleet Clasp and three bronze stars (one bronze star in lieu of Clasp), China Service Medal, Philippine Defense Medal with clasp, and WWII Victory Medal. Muir may have been eligible for the Good Conduct Medal, Second Nicaraguan Campaign Medal and the Yangtze Service Medal. He was also eligible for the Combat Action Ribbon.


A commemoration in honor of QM1 Muir’s service from President Harry S. Truman reads:

In Grateful Memory of Linwood Robert Muir, Who Died In The Service Of His Country At Sea, Asiatic Area, attached U.S.S. Edsall, 25 November 1945 (presumed). He stands in the unbroken line of patriots who have dared to die that freedom might live, and grow, and increase its blessings. Freedom lives, and through it, he lives – in a way that humbles the undertakings of most men.


Harry Truman

President of the United States of America


Bio#310 composed by Gerry Lawton (G47, GML470)

Military Hall of Honor ID#153282

Find A Grave memorial page# 228484766

Honoree ID: 153282   Created by: MHOH




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