Navy Badge
  • Name: Dr. James Richard Kingston Sr.
  • Location of Birth: Bovey, Minnesota
  • Date of Birth: September 9, 1907
  • Date of Death: January 11, 1974
  • Parents: Thomas Kingston & Elizabeth (Bessie) Ann (Faulkinghor) Kingston
  • High School and Class: 1923 Greenway High School, Coleraine, Minnesota
  • College: Itasca Junior College, Coleraine, Minnesota
    1930 University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota - doctorate in medicine
    Harvard School of Public Health - master's degree
    1951 Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health - doctorate in public health
  • Highest Rank: CAPTAIN
  • Branch: Navy
  • Other Branch:
  • Date Sworn In: April 10, 1937
  • Place Sworn In:
  • Date of Discharge: 1970
  • Place of Discharge:
  • Military Awards:
    Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon
    Legion of Merit

  • Military Highlights:
    Newspaper article - Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota - 1 May 1942 – Mrs. T. J. Kingston returned Monday evening from Minneapolis where she went with her son Dr. James Kingston and Mrs. Kingston. Dr. Kingston enlisted last January and received his commission March 12th as Lieutenant Post Assistant Surgeon of the U.S. Naval Reserve. He was called to active duty April 27 and has been assigned to the Great Lakes Naval School. Dr. Kingston is a graduate of Greenway High School, Itasca Junior College, and received his doctor’s degree from the University of Minnesota, and his master’s degree in Public Health from Harvard.

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota – November 3, 1944 - "DR. JAMES KINGSTON AMONG CHARACTERS IN NEW BOOK – Albert I. Maisel, a war correspondent, published a book, “The Wounded Get Back,” an eye-witness story of how this medical miracle has been achieved. He spent 5 months on the Navy’s invitation, in the South Pacific war zone. He traveled to every part of the battle zone from the great base hospitals in New Zealand to the forward outposts of the Solomons. This book is an inspiring report on a part of the war which will be of interest to everyone who has a relative or friend in the service. In one chapter of his book, headed “Tulagi’s Happy Exiles,” is one of the least attractive little holes on earth, a few square miles of marsh and swamp and rock bathed in perspiration. The troops have renamed it “Devil’s Island.” The naval hospital here is run by six exiled doctors, and built by them out of hope and palm leaves. Among these six doctors mentioned is Dr. James Kingston, son of Mr. and Mrs. T. J. Kingston of Bovey. They formed a Medical Society where they met every night and discussed cases. Mr. Maisel mentioned the doctors roping off a corner of their hut for operating. The problem of a sterilizer was solved when Dr. Kingston waltzed in with a pressure cooker which he had “borrowed” from the mess hall on the other end of the island. Before he left the Pacific he learned that the little band had been split up. The makeshift hospital was replaced by a modern installation complete with all the trimmings, from air conditioning to gold braid. He goes on to say he couldn’t help regretting the passing of the Tulagi Medical Society, the craziest, most disrespected, ingenious, happy-go-lucky, and with almost effective batch of young doctors he ever hopes to see. He hoped that they hadn’t been sent to the kind of place here you have to wear Navy blues and say “Yes, Sir” to the Admiral. For their sake and the Navy’s “I like to think that they have found a new Tulagi jungle hole where nothing is done according to Navy regulations, but where everything gets done well nonetheless.” Dr. Kingston studied medicine at the University of Minnesota and took post-graduate work at Harvard, returning to Minnesota for private practice, and then for years as a public health worker in the northern part of the state.

    Newspaper article: 1944 – "Dr. James Kingston is expected home very soon, having called his wife long distance yesterday from San Francisco to tell her he was back in the States and that he hoped to get a leave to come home to visit his family. He had come by plane from Guadalcanal to the west coast after serving 21 months overseas with the U.S. Navy. He the older son of Mr. and Mrs. Tom Kingston of Bovey."

    Newspaper article: November 1945 – "Dr. James Kingston who was recently home on leave, following several months of service in the South Pacific with the Navy, reported to Great Lakes the latter part of last week, and was there promoted from a Lt. Commander to a full Commander. Commander Kingston has been in the service since the early days of the war and has been overseas twice.

  • Wars Involved:
    World War II
    Korean War
    Vietnam War

  • MIA / POW:

  • Civilian Life:
    Dr. Kingston married Irma O'Leary in Minnesota in 1930. During WW II, he was a preventive medicine officer in the U.S. before reporting to Tulagi as malaria control officer and participating in action at Guadalcanal. He received a Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon for “outstanding heroism in action during the Solomon Islands campaign. After aiding in the repatriation of Navy and Marine prisoners of war, he served as medical officer at several hospitals in the States. In 1951, Capt. Kingston received a doctorate in public health from John Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. While stationed in Washington D.C. from 1959 to 1961, with the Naval Dept., Capt. Kingston directed and planned a scientific study in Parris Island, SC which identified the causative organism in primary a-typical pneumonia. He received the Legion of Merit with citation for his discovery which reduced training time losses due to epidemics of respiratory disease. From 1962 to 1964 Capt. Kingston was stationed in London as medical liaison officer with the Office of Naval Research. He returned to Washington D.C. branch of the Office of Naval Research as a special assistant for medical and allied sciences, a position from which he retired in 1970.

    Dr. Kingston died in Bethesda, Maryland and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia (Section 53, Site 2151-4). He is survived by his wife, Irma; three sons: James R. Jr., John Thomas, and Michael Phillip; and one daughter, Mrs. Carl Nimis; his mother, Mrs. T. J. Kingston; and one brother John Kingston.

  • Tribal Affiliation(s):