Ordinary Seaman Somer Oscar James
Ordinary Seaman Somer Oscar James was decorated for bravery in saving his ship, the SS Empire Lightning, during an enemy air raid.
On 5 November 1943, a German air raid on a port near Naples, Italy, set fire to fuel stored on a nearby dock, endangering the explosives-laden Empire Lightning. Lines mooring the ship to the dock had to be handled in a way that allowed the Empire Lightning to be moved to safety, and James singlehandedly volunteered for the task. For his actions, he received both the British Empire Medal and the Lloyd's War Medal for Bravery at Sea.
George Metcalf Archival Collection