James "Jim" Ripley Brower

Navy Badge
  • Name: James "Jim" Ripley Brower
  • Location of Birth: Duluth, Minnesota
  • Date of Birth: June 12, 1919
  • Date of Death: January 12, 1992
  • Parents: Walter Brower & Bessie (Anderson) Brower
  • High School and Class: 1937 Greenway High School, Coleraine, Minnesota
  • College: 1939 Itasca Junior College, Coleraine, Minnesota
    University of Antioch, Springfield, Illinois
    University of Southern California, Los Angeles – College of Engineering
  • Highest Rank: LT (Lieutenant)
  • Branch: Navy
  • Other Branch:
  • Date Sworn In: October 7, 1943
  • Place Sworn In:
  • Date of Discharge: 1959
  • Place of Discharge:
  • Units and Locations:
    Start Date End Date Unit(s) and Location(s) Served
    May 1944 U.S. Naval Reserve, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN
  • Military Awards:

  • Military Highlights:
    WW II Draft Registration Cards – 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947
    State: Minnesota
    Name: James Ripley Brower
    Race: White
    Age: 21
    Birth Date: June 12, 1919
    Birth Place: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
    Residence Place: Coleraine, Itasca, Minnesota, USA
    Registration Date: October 16, 1940
    Employer: Oakes Products Cooperative student, Macon County, Illinois
    Weight: 175
    Height: 5-9
    Complexion: Light
    Eye Color: Brown
    Hair Color: Brown
    Next of Kin: Walter Richard Brower, father, Proctor, Minnesota

    Newspaper article - Itasca Iron News, Coleraine, Minnesota - 1944 – “Jim” Brower graduated the 31st of May as an Ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve at the University of Notre Dame at Notre Dame, Indiana. James R. Brower is the second son of Mr. and Mrs. E. R. Brower of Coleraine. He graduated from Greenway high school, Itasca Junior College and later from the University of Antioch at Springfield, Ill., and from University of Southern California at Los Angeles in the College of Engineering.

    Newspaper article - Itasca Iron News, Coleraine, Minnesota - 1944 – A dozen or more letters came this week to the Home Service Club in appreciation of the gifts sent the men in service. Excerpts from them run like this: Ens. Jim Brower, overseas, says he hasn’t “been here long enough nor gone far enough to have had much excitement,” but of the club’s package, “I put it away to help make our Christmas out here a little bit better. The three papers (Iron News) I am saving as I can spread them out and spend another hour with you at home going over them for anything I missed the first time. So far my work has been tiresome, and our first thought is getting into the sack for a good night’s sleep. This boat bobs like a cork; . . . one’s physical and mental condition is about the same as it would be after being on a roller coaster. However, I haven’t missed chow yet, so I must have some pretty good Norse blood in me!”

    Newspaper article - Itasca Iron News, Coleraine, Minnesota - Jul 1945 – “Dear Mrs. Cratty: I was very pleased to find my birthday present and the card from you waiting for me when we got here. I want to thank you and all the rest of the folks back home for remembering me. It is one more of the many things you are doing for us that make us remember in what a grand place we had the privilege and pleasure of growing up. The paper comes through by fits and starts, but even when it gets here late, it is the next best thing to a visit home. We haven’t had a second class mail call in over a month, so I ought to get a stack of them soon. From all reports you seem to be having a wet summer. If it will make you feel any better, it rains here too. I have been soaked during my night watch every night since we got here. It doesn’t rain long, just a little squall, but it certainly does rain hard. You have probably heard that I bumped into Tony Casio on his way back home. It was good to see and talk to him. He was the first and only one from home I have met so far. Our only claim to a Fourth of July celebration today is a rather strange one. For chow we had roast turkey, dressing and cranberry sauce. A bit out of the ordinary, but a feast like that we take when and if we are lucky enough to find it. Turkey sandwiches waiting for me! Sincerely, Jim Brower”

    Newspaper article - Itasca Iron News, Coleraine, Minnesota - Feb 1946 – Jim Brower writes the Service Man’s Club from Kobe, Japan: “Two copies of The Iron News found their way aboard today to remind me that I still haven’t thanked you and the rest of Coleraine for my Christmas box. You are so regular in your thoughts of us that we begin to take your work for granted and are a little slow in showing our appreciation. Nevertheless, the presents were welcome and well used. Until we got Kobe Harbor opened up a few days ago, we had to anchor out in the stream and could not get ashore so the cards were soon limp and dog-eared from our nightly bridge game. Then the skipper left for home and discharge so I had to teach my two remaining officers to play pinochle. It’s a better game anyway. We’ve been here in Japanese waters for about three months now sweeping pretty steady to open the harbors to shipping. So far I’ve seen only one mine go up, and that was enough to expel any doubts I might have had concerning their destructive powers. I’m ready to start home any time. However, I don’t think I will make it before summer. By moving to California and convincing the draft board I was a “key man in industry,” I kept that coveted civilian status about as long as anyone from home. Now I’m a “low-pointer” and still have work to do. I imagine there are some others out here with the Occupation Forces but we move around too much to have a chance to locate anyone. The work we are doing is hard but interesting after you get used to the idea. All the old crew I had worked with so long are gone and we are pretty busy for a while training the new crew. They are mostly young fellows just out of school but they are doing an excellent job and we have a ship of which we are justly proud. A few months ago most of them were kids who couldn’t wait to get into the scrap. Now it is over and they are still taking all the risks with none of the glory. It takes real guts to do that without complaining. A few days ago I had a captain’s inspection and hard as I tried I couldn’t find a thing wrong that really mattered. With paint and material as scarce as they are and time for ship’s work at a minimum they had the ship shining like a new Ford. It’s kids like these that restore my faith in America when the news is about a million and a half men on strike in the U.S. and soldiers in Manila staging demonstrations because transportation is slow. Well, we are in port for a few days to catch up on repairs before going on to the next operation and tomorrow should be another day. If I am to set the crew a shining example of industry, I had better log some sack time. Hoping to see you all soon. Sincerely, Jim.”

    Newspaper article - Itasca Iron News, Coleraine, Minnesota - Aug 1945 – A news release from Pearl Harbor this week informs The Itasca Iron News that Ens. James R. Brower, son of Mr. and Mrs. W. R. Brower of Coleraine, has been attached to the Hawaiian Sea Frontier there for the past nine months. Ens. Brower attended the University of Southern California, and before entering the Navy in 1943, was employed by the Downs Crane and Hoist Co. in Los Angeles, California.

    James R. Brower retired from the military as a Lieutenant in July 1959.

  • Wars Involved:
    World War II

  • MIA / POW:

  • Civilian Life:
    James Brower married Doris Covert in 1946 in California. He was a design engineer for North American Rockwell. He contributed greatly to the space program and moon landings. He was a Masonic Past Master twice and a Hiram Award holder.

    James Brower died in Huntington Beach, California and is buried in Westminster Memorial Park, Westminster, California (no plot given).

  • Tribal Affiliation(s):