10th Augusta man now honored as Pearl Harbor survivor after a correction in oversight

Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 6:26 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - John Englesby made it his mission for his father and several others from Augusta to be remembered for surviving a dark day in American history.

“It’s been my goal for many years to make sure all the survivors of Pearl Harbor from Augusta were honored,” said Englesby.

Nine men were honored, but little did he know, one man was left out. The reason, he shared almost the same name as one of the other survivors.

“It’s that he had the same name as another man, one of the original nine.”

The Thompsons saw a picture of the memorial unveiled in Augusta back in December of 2021 for the 80th Pearl Harbor anniversary. Steven noticed a couple of things were off.

“I looked at the memorial with a magnifying glass and see James Green. And the James Green listed on there has the middle initial of L. And he was from the navy,” said Steven.

James P. Green, who was with the Air Force, is the uncle to Steven’s wife, Rhonda.

“And then I got a hold of Suzie after the article came on the paper and said ‘well that’s wrong.’ And she got a hold of John who was devastated that it wasn’t right,” said Rhonda.

Suzy Zook Matysik, who’s father also from Augusta and a survivor of the attacks on Pearl Harbor, also knew Rhonda’s uncle.

“And between John and Steve they did the rest of digging into it and found out how this happened,” said Zook Matysik.

She said when Englesby Looked up the name ‘James Green’ with the Veterans Service Officer in Eau Claire County, they gave him information on one but not the other.

It was thought that Jame L. Green was as far as they needed to go.

“They came to that and they stopped... because they thought that was the only one there for Green,” said Zook Matysik.

Steven says he’s glad that oversight has since been resolved.

“Being a genealogist, my motto is ‘no one shall be forgotten.” He was forgotten too long and we brought him back, part of the family again,” said Steven.

And Rhonda is glad her uncle is getting the recognition he deserves.

“It’s nice that he’s getting all this attention again today... 81 years later,” said Rhonda.

After his stint in the military, James P. Green spent time in California, married his wife Rose Green and eventually moving back to her hometown of Niagra Falls, NY.

He died in 2001.