Marvin & John Thomas Helms

Two Helms Brothers Are Killed in Pacific

Letters Are Received From Commanding Officers Telling Of Deaths

In the April 26 Issue of the Enquirer, an account of the deaths of the sons of John Wilson Helms, R4, Albemarle, was given. The two brothers were in the service of their country and both were serving in the Pacific theater.

Fireman 2-C John Thomas Helms, was killed on March 22. Both of the boys were well-known in this section and had lived in the county practically all their lives until a short while before they entered the service.

PFC Helms had been in service 28 months and had served overseas with the Ordinance Department for the past twenty-two months. He was killed on Luzon Island, March 22, 1945. He is survived by his father, stepmother and several brothers and sisters.

Fireman 2-C Helms entered service in April, 1944, and at the time of his death was serving in the South Pacific.

The following letters have been received by relatives from the commanding officers of the two boys and give an account of how each one met his death:

My Dear Mrs. Helms:

At about 5:30 in the afternoon of April 6, 1945, your husband John was killed while his ship was engaged in enemy action. He was at his battle station passing ammunition when an explosion from an enemy hit occurred which killed him instantly. He died in the last measure of devotion to the Navy and to his country.

Words cannot express the shock and sorrow of myself and the rest of John’s shipmates in the loss of so fine a man. We are all proud of him, and his sacrifice and devotion to duty will not be forgotten. He spoke often of you and his daughter, of his daughter whistling at passing girls when he took her out driving on Sundays. His happy-go-lucky personality made him popular with his shipmates. He also talked of how he wanted to go back to his welding work.

Due to the present state of the war, I regret that it was impossible to send his body back to the United States. He has been buried with full military honors on Zamanie Island.

Very sincerely,


Commander, U. S. Navy



Dear Mr. Helms,

As commanding officer of the unit in which your son, Private First Class Marvin H. Helms, served, I am writing to express my sympathy over his death. There is nothing I can say that will make up to you for his loss, but I want you to know that my officers and men and I miss him and feel something of the loss you feel.

Private First Class Helms served his unit faithfully and well. You and your wife have every reason to feel proud of his military record and of the sacrifice he has made.

I hope that as time goes on you will come to feel more of this pride and less of the sorrow that must now be very great.

Your son died as a result of being struck by enemy bomb fragments while on duty in our company ammunition area three miles south of Damortis, Luzon, Phillippine Islands on the night of March 22,1945. He was buried at Santa Barbara, Luzon, Phillippine Islands.


Capt., Ord. Dept.,


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