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Lt. James Strickland Swarts gravestone
Image courtesy of Find-A-Grave.
Lt. James Strickland Swarts interment form for the Fort Bliss National Cemetery.
Lt. James Strickland Swarts interment form for the Fort Bliss National Cemetery.
Ft. Bliss National Cemetery Map
Lieutenant James Strickland Swarts is buried in Section B Site 305A, Ft. Bliss National Cemetery, P.O. Box 6342 5200 Fred Wilson Avenue El Paso, Texas 79906.
Lieutenant, USNR, US Navy
Commanding Officer of USS LST 507

James Strickland Swarts

Service No.: 96231
Ship Assignment: USS LST507

Lieutenant James Strickland Swarts, a US Navy serviceman, played a pivotal role during Exercise Tiger, a crucial rehearsal for the D-Day invasion. Born on July 18, 1916, in Oklahoma, USA, he grew up in a family deeply rooted in public service. His father, James W. Swarts, served as the county attorney in Culberson County, Texas, and his mother, Catherine Swarts, nurtured his interests and ambitions. James’ early life in Oklahoma and Texas laid the foundation for his dedication to the Navy.

Lieutenant Swarts’ decision to enlist in the Navy was driven by a sense of duty and patriotism. He enlisted at 2551 15th Street, N.W., Washington D.C., and rose through the ranks to become the Commanding Officer of USS LST-507 .

Exercise Tiger

Exercise Tiger was a large-scale rehearsal for the D-Day invasion, designed to prepare Allied forces for the Normandy landings. However, the operation took a tragic turn due to unforeseen attacks by German E-boats.

Lieutenant Swarts, a renowned military officer, displayed extraordinary bravery during the attack and was the last man to leave the ship at around 02:35, or just after. Unfortunately, after being taken aboard USS LST-515 and given emergency first aid, he died of exposure and shock, having been in the extremely cold water for around four hours. Lieutenant James Strickland Swarts, a very capable and earnest young man who at all times kept the safety of his ship in mind, made the ultimate sacrifice for his country. He died aged just 27.

Lieutenant Swarts left a wife, Mrs. Esther Larsen Swarts , whom he married on May 1, 1943 in Dallas, Texas.

Honors and Memorials

For his heroism, Lieutenant Swarts was awarded a Bronze Star Medal .

Initially buried at Brookwood Cemetery, with other casualties from the Exercise Tiger action, Lieutenant Swarts’ body was relocated to Fort Bliss National Cemetery in El Paso, Texas, on 5th August, 1948, a place of reflection and remembrance, serving as a focal point for his legacy.