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Arthur J Giese

War: World War II
Parent/Wife: Charles/wife
City: Wisc. Rapids
Birth Date: abt 1910
Death Date: March 1, 1942
How Died: lost at sea
Where Died: Bay of Java
Where Buried:
Rank: yeoman
Branch: Navy

Kia=Killed in Action
Dow=Died of Wounds
Dod=Died of Disease
Mia=Missing in Action


Arthur John Giese

It was late March, 1942, when Arthur John Giese’s wife, Oakly Giese, of 2410 Third Street South, Wisconsin Rapids, was notified that her husband was missing in action. Oakly, now 100 years old, has never been officially notified by the government as to what really happened to her husband while aboard the U.S.S. Edsall I (DD-219)

Unfortunately, politicians had covered up the loss of the fleet “as a matter of military intelligence and even more so to avoid embarrassment in losing another fleet in the Pacific.” It was not until the Japanese released their World War II archives that many of the questions about the disappearance of the U.S.S. Edsall could be answered. The Edsall was called to action after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. She was known for rescuing survivors of the HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse, escorting convoys in Java fleeing south to Australia, and as the first U.S. destroyer to sink a full size enemy submarine in World War II.

After rescuing survivors of the Langley and transferring them by March 1, 1942, the Edsall headed back to Tjilatjap, but was never seen again as she was attacked by the Japanese in the Battle of Java. Apparently, the Edsall showed brilliant maneuvers frustrating Japanese Admiral Nogumo. Seeing he was unable to defeat their brilliance, he ordered 17-21 dive bombers from the Akagi and Soryu into battle. After this air attack, the Edsall was approached by the Chikuma, a heavy cruiser which eventually sank the Edsall.

Many questions have been answered about what happened to the Edsall, but not about what happened to her crew. Apparently, 5-8 of the crew were recovered and sent to prisoner of war camps at Kendari, Celebes. Unfortunately, some or all of them were inhumanely treated and beheaded. No one aboard the Edsall survived.

It has been said, “It is not how you die, but what you die for.” These men fought courageously and died for our freedom. The Edsall received two Battle Stars for World War II service. Much honor is due to Arthur John Giese and the men who served our country.

[insert picture of Edsall] [insert letter of Oakly]

Written by: Josiah Mertes, East Junior High School


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