James P. Moriarty
Biography: James P. Moriarty, “Jim”, was born on July 13, 1914, in Nanty Glo, Pennsylvania. He attended local schools completing the 10th grade.
In 1938, he married the former Grace Ann Mann who was also from Nanty Glo. She was the daughter of Roy Ashland Mann and Rachel Grace Dyson. Jim’s enlistment record indicates he worked as a semiskilled painter prior to the war. The photo left shows Jim and wife Grace in 1951.
Service Time: Jim entered the service on February 11, 1942, at Harrisburg, PA, and after his basic training was assigned to Company C of the 809th Tank Destroyer Battalion. The unit would training at a number of facilities in the U.S., including Camp Hood, Texas. Special Order No. 4, dated January 7, 1943, identifies that he was transferred to Headquarters Company of the 809th on that date.
The 809th shipped out from the New York port on November 30, 1944, and arrived in Liverpool, England, on December 8th. Just over a month later, they boarded transports and arrived at Le Havre, France, on January 20, 1945. They were equipped with M18 tank destroyers and supported actions at the Roer and Rhine Rivers as well as the Ruhr pocket in April. The unit converted to M36 TDs in April and helped clear the Harz mountains that same month. At some point, probably after the war had ended, Jim was transferred to Company B of the 628th Tank Destroyer battalion and served with them during the occupation period. He left the service at the rank of Sergeant.
Although Jim entered the service at Harrisburg, PA, he moved Michigan in 1942. Records show that he had a residence in New Port, MI, while he was in the service. After he returned home, the family made their residence in Monroe, Michigan, and Jim worked for the Ford Motor Company in Monroe, and later for Helms Accessories of Detroit, MI.
In the photo to the left, you can see Jim and Grace around 1937-38. In his spare time, he enjoyed ornithology, which is the study of birds. He was also a member of the Loyal Order of the Moose.
James died on October 6, 1956, as a result of a car accident on US-25, a half mile from Monroe. He was buried in the Roselawn Memorial Park Cemetery in La Salle, MI.
I want to thank James’ nephew, Randy, for providing the information and photos for this tribute.