Archie Evert McCray was born January 13, 1914 at Cannan, Upshur County, West Virginia to Earl Stillman McCray and Cora May Lake. Archie was the oldest of several siblings including brothers Richard, James, and Harold, and sisters Mildred, and Agnes.
Archie was employed in California by the year 1941, and it was there that he enlisted in the United States Army. Archie was sent overseas to the Pacific to serve in the Philippines with the Coast Artillery Regiment as a private first-class. Archie served gallantly during the harbor defense of Manila when the Japanese attacked, but he was not to be safe for long. Archie was captured as a prisoner of war when the Philippine forces were made to surrender to the Japanese at the fall of Corregidor in 1942.
Archie was held as a prisoner of war in the Philippines for two years. While being transported to Japan on the Arisan Maru, Archie 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.
Archie 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, Archie Evert McCray's name is inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery in Manila, Philippines, and Archie'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