Farrell Cyrus Girkin was born in 1918 to the Oliver Girkin family of Ravenswood, Jackson County, West Virginia. The Girkin family was very dedicated to service. Farrell's sister Marie served five years in the Army. Brother Ralph also served in the Navy. Another sister, Gladys, was a cadet nurse in training at St. Joseph's Hospital in Parkersburg. Farrell also had a half-brother, Howard.
Farrell enlisted in the Navy in 1936 after graduating with high honors from Ravenswood High School. He was stationed to the ship Canopus which was sent to the Philippines. Here he served as an Electrician's Mate 2nd Class. Farrell served his country well in the Philippines, but he was captured as a Japanese prisoner of war when the Canopus was sunk in early 1942 during the Battle of Manila Bay.
Farrell was held as a prisoner of war in the Philippines for over two years. While being transported to Japan on the Arisan Maru, Farrell lost his life on October 24, 1944 when the unmarked ship was torpedoed by an Allied submarine in the South China Sea. His death was received by the War Department on June 16, 1945.
Farrell was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and his body was buried at sea. In recognition of his honorable service in World War II, and for his ultimate sacrifice, Farrell Cyrus Girkin's name is inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery in Manila, Philippines, and Farrell's was one of the original names inscribed on the West Virginia Veterans Memorial.
Hellships of World War II
West Virginia Veterans Memorial Archives Database
West Virginia Archives and History