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First Name: James

Last Name: Alexander

Birthplace: Girard, KS, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Thomas

Date of Birth: 25 August 1888

Date of Death: 16 January 1952

Rank or Rate: Captain

Years Served:
James Thomas Alexander

Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1910

•  World War I (1914 - 1918)
•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


James Thomas Alexander
Captain, U.S. Navy

James Thomas Alexander was born on 25 August 1888 in Girard, Kansas.

Alexander was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with the Class of 1910. While at the Academy, he rowed for the Midshipmen's crew team and was Manager of the team during the 1910 season.

As a Lieutenant Commander during WW I, he served as Commanding Officer of the destroyers USS Sterett (DD-27) and USS Porter (DD-59) and was awarded the U.S. Navy's second highest award for valor, the Navy Cross.

After WW I, he commanded the Navy Ammunition Depot in Hawaii. In the 1930's he was a strong advocate for increasing the strength of American naval power to provide a strong national defense.

During the period 8 February 1938 to 20 April 1940, Alexander served as the 37th Naval Governor of Guam. During his tenure, because of the increasing ability to travel by air, more people traveled from the U.S. mainland and air mail arrived more frequently. His methods to make Guam more defensible included building more warehouses and harbor facilities; dredging Apra Harbor; constructing a seawall and oil storage facilities; and the erection of six new officer's barracks. While there, the Japanese ship Daichs Saiho Maru sank in a restricted area off the Guam coast. As a result, he had to negotiate with the Japanese government to arrange the return of the Japanese fishermen who were rescued. One of his final actions as Governor was oversight of the 1940 U.S. Census on the Island.

Upon completion of his governorship, he commanded the heavy cruiser USS Astoria (CA-34). In WW II, he commanded the heavy cruiser USS Wichita (CA-45).

Alexander retired from the Navy as a Captain.

Medals, Awards and Badges

Navy Cross
World War I Victory Medal
American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal
Surface Warfare Officer Badge

Navy Cross Citation

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lieutenant Commander James Thomas Alexander, United States Navy, for distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. STERETT and the U.S.S. PORTER, engaged in the important, exacting, and hazardous duty of patrolling the waters infested by enemy submarines and mines, in escorting and protecting vitally important convoys of troops and supplies through these waters, and in offensive and defensive action, vigorously and unremittingly prosecuted against all forms of enemy naval activity during World War I.

Death and Burial

Captain James Thomas Alexander died on 16 January 1952 in Alameda County, CA. He is buried at the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, CA in Section OSA, Site 96.


Honoree ID: 2052   Created by: MHOH




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