Long IslandObituaries

Pioneering black sailor James Graham dies

A copy photo shows Jim Graham alongside President

A copy photo shows Jim Graham alongside President Bill Clinton. Photo Credit: Steven Sunshine

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
Photo Credit: Steven Sunshine

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
Photo Credit: Steven Sunshine

Barbara Graham, 88, of Roosevelt holds up a photograph of husband Jim Graham.

USS Mason, a 1140-ton Evarts class destroyer escort,
Photo Credit: US Navy Archive Handout

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
Photo Credit: Steven Sunshine

The refitted USS Mason will honor African Americans such as Jim Graham, who originally served on the vessel.

A copy photo shows Jim Graham alongside President
Photo Credit: Steven Sunshine

A copy photo shows Jim Graham alongside President Bill Clinton.

Barbara Graham with nephew William McIver, 67, of
Photo Credit: Steven Sunshine

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.

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