Pioneering black sailor James Graham dies
Jim Graham was a radio operator on the USS Mason, the first Navy vessel that enlisted African American men during WWII. Mr. Graham, a resident of Roosevelt, died Jan. 7, 2013, at 90.
Jim Graham, a Navy veteran and radio operator on the USS Mason, died in the Roosevelt home he shared with his wife, Barbara.
Barbara Graham, 88, of Roosevelt holds up a photograph of husband Jim Graham.
USS Mason, a 1140-ton Evarts class destroyer escort, was commissioned in March 1944 with a largely African-American enlisted complement. Mason was employed on convoy escort duties in the Atlantic and Mediterranean through the remainder of World War II.
The refitted USS Mason will honor African Americans such as Jim Graham, who originally served on the vessel.
Barbara Graham with nephew William McIver, 67, of Landover, Md. McIver, a retired Navy man, enlisted because he was so impressed by his uncle Jim.