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Stephen Jurika

Born9 Dec 1910
Died15 Jul 1993
CountryUnited States
CategorySea
GenderMale

Contributor: C. Peter Chen

Born in Los Angeles, California, United States and raised in the Philippines where his parents were plantation owners, Stephen Jurika, Jr. entered the United States Navy and was a graduate of the United States Navy Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, United States. He served in Tokyo during peace time as a naval attaché. When the war broke out, Lieutenant Jurika served aboard the aircraft carrier USS Hornet as an intelligence officer. When Hornet ferried James Doolittle and his raiders across the Pacific for their raid, he briefed the raiders on the history, political situation, and psychology of the Japanese people. Like William Halsey, he also tied his Japanese medal to one of the 500-bombs that later was dropped in either Tokyo, Nagoya, or Yokohama. He later served aboard the carrier USS Franklin as a navigator. He was present when Franklin was hit by two 250-kilogram bombs by a D4Y or a D3A dive bomber; when consulted by Captain Leslie Gehres whether the ship should be abandoned, he responded "not yet", which confirmed Gehres' thought that, even though the ship was badly damaged, the ship should not be abandoned because too many men were still trapped belowdecks.

Jurika remained in the US Navy after the war, serving in diplomatic and command posts, eventually retiring at the rank of commodore. In 1957, he earned a master's degree from George Washington University in Washington, DC, United States, then went on to acquire doctoral degrees in both political science and geography from Stanford University in Palo Alto, California within the next few years. He became a professor after his naval career, while also becoming a vice president of the missiles division at the Lockheed Missiles and Space Company. He passed away from cancer at a hospital in Menlo park, California, United States in 1993.

Sources: Inferno, Naval Historical Center, New York Times, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo.

Stephen Jurika Timeline

9 Dec 1910 Stephen Jurika was born.
15 Jul 1993 Stephen Jurika passed away.




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Visitor Submitted Comments

  1. Bob Bartlett says:
    3 Apr 2006 04:20:14 PM

    This mans name was Stephen Jurika, Jr. He was not Exec. of the HORNET. He was Flight Deck Officer & Lt.Cmdr.
    While born in the US, he was raised in the Philippines and educated in China & Japan. He stayed on the HORNET until it was sunk. In 1945, as a full Cmdr. and Navigation Officer on the USS FRANKLIN CV-13, he was awarded the Navy Cross. His brother-in-law was Cmdr. Chick Parsons one of McArthurs liason officers to the Philippine guerrillas. Jurikas mother in manilia was part of Parsons spy network & was executeted by the **** by beheading. Re:Reminiscences of Captain Stephen Jurika, Jr. U.S.Naval Institute, 1979
  2. Anonymous says:
    9 Nov 2009 11:13:43 PM

    he was ordered by his commanding officer to surrender to the japanese in the Philipines at the start of the war and instead ran into the jungle which probably saved his live. He was later evacuated by submarine after living with the natives whose languages he spoke.
  3. Bob Fish says:
    31 Dec 2010 11:12:52 PM

    Stephen Jurika was a key factor in making the Halsey-Doolittle Raid over Japan a success. His time in 1939-1940 as an Assistant Naval Attache in Japan enabled him to provide the USAAF bomber crews embarked on the USS Hornet CV-8 in April 1942 with very specific targetting information and detailed locations.

    Combined with his later exploits in the Solomon Islands and on the USS Franklin, Jurika is an authentic American hero.
  4. Regan Chapman says:
    2 Oct 2011 08:46:06 PM

    One of the great instructors at University of Santa Clara. One of the hardest "A's" I ever got. He would come into the classroomn, pull down the map, and ask one of his students to "blindfolded" point to something. He would then spend the next 50 minutes talking about the country. Brilliant guy.
  5. Anonymous says:
    12 Jan 2012 09:53:52 AM

    awsome!!!!!!!!!
  6. Bob Bartlett says:
    26 Jun 2012 07:12:09 PM

    In response to "Anonymous" 9 Nov 2009, Stephen Jurka Jr. was on the USS Hornet CV-8 from Sept.1941 to Oct. 1942 when the HORNET was sunk and could not have been in the Philippines during this period. The above statement is completly false.

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Event(s) Participated:
» Doolittle Raid

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