Thursday, August 16, 1945
SON OFFICIALLY DECLARED DEAD
Mrs. Easley Receives Word This Week
Hurshel Easley, S 1C, who has been carried on Navy records as “missing in action” for three years has been officially declared dead according to a letter received this week by his mother, Mrs. Sylvia M. Easley, 224 So. Eighth St. from the Navy department.
The letter follows:
"My Dear Mrs. Easley:"
"Your son, Hurshel Easley, Seaman first class, United States Navy, has been carried on the official records of the Navy Department in the status of missing in action since 9 August 1942. He was serving on board the USS Jarvis when that vessel was damaged as the result of enemy air attacks off Guadalcanal on 8 August 1942. The vessel was last seen by a ship on patrol, in the early morning of 9 August 1942, presumably enroute to the repair base at Noumea, New Caledonia. The Jarvis never reached the repair base and an intensive search by ships and aircraft failed to locate any trace of the missing ship or of the personnel aboard the ship. However, in the absence of conclusive evidence of death, your son was placed in the missing status.
In view of the length of time that has elapsed since your son was reported to be missing in action, and because there have been no official nor unconfirmed reports that any of the personnel of the ship survived or were taken prisoners of war, and in view of the fact that the area the USS Jarvis normally would have traversed has increasingly come under Allied surveillance since 9 August 1942, I am reluctantly forced to the conclusion that your son is deceased. In compliance with Section 5 of Public law 490, 77th Congress, as amended, the death of your son, for the purposes of termination of pay and allowances, settlement of accounts and payment of death gratuities, presumably to have occurred on 12 July 1945.
I extend my deepest sympathy to you in your sorrow. It is hoped that you may find comfort in the knowledge that your son gave his life for his country, upholding the highest traditions of the Navy.
Artemus L. Gates."
Mrs. Easley has lived in this city four years. Her son visited her here in 1942 shortly before he left on the ill-fated cruise overseas.