Anthony “Tony” Bradford Shirley Jr. was born in 1921 at Chattanooga, Tennessee to Anthony Bradford Shirley Sr. and Gladys Attee Lee. Brother of William Dura Shirley and Robert Lee Shirley.
Served on the U.S.S. Chicago. He died of a gunshot wound received in action. He was buried at sea on 8 May 1942.
Memorialized at the Manila American Cemetery, Philippines

Father: Mr. Anthony B. Shirley Sr., Route 2, Chickamauga, TN

The Chattanooga Daily Times, 19 May 1942
Navy department officials today announced the death of Anthony Bradford Shirley, Jr., 22, of Ooltewah, killed in action at seas as he was manning an anti-aircraft gun. Shirley, son of Mr. and Mrs. Anthony B. Shirley, Sr., of Ooltewah, Route 1, was killed May 7 (his father believes in the Coral sea engagement, in which the allied navy won a sweeping victory over the Japanese), the telegram from the navy department disclosed. Shirley was a seaman first class and first-class pointer in operation of the 5-inch anti-aircraft gun. His brother, William, 20, was a member of the same gun crew, and served as ammunition hoister. No word has been heard of his brother’s safety.
The navy department’s telegram follows:  The navy department deeply regrets to inform you that your son, Anthony Bradford ShirleyJr., died May 7 at seas as a result of gunshot wounds received in action incurred in the line of duty and not as a result of his own mission act. His body was buried at sea. Further details will be communicated to you by his commanding officer. Sincere sympathy is extended to you in your deep sorrow. Rear Admiral Randall Jacobson, Chief of Personnel Bureau.”
Last word heard from Shirley was a letter which came May 5 in which he described some of the sea activity he had been in and in which he said: “Keep you ear to the radio, the Shirley brothers may be making history.” The brothers enlisted in the navy at Chattanooga in the summer of 1940. Anthony was graduated from Central High School in June, 1940. He is survived by another brother, 18, and his parents. His father is a retired National Park service guide and a veteran of World War 1, having trained at Fort Oglethorpe with the Sixth division.

On the profile picture, Anthony and brother, Honolulu WW2
Photo courtesy; WGraves

  • Rank: Seaman First Class
  • Date of death: 7 May 1942
  • County: Hamilton
  • Hometown: Chickamauga, TN
  • Service Branch: Navy
  • Division/Assignment: USS Chicago
  • Theater: Pacific
  • Conflict: World War II
  • Awards: Purple Heart
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Manila American Cemetery, Fort Bonifacio, Manila, Philippines
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar X, Middle Panel
  • Contact us to sponsor Anthony B. Shirley Jr.

Image Gallery

Click a thumbnail below to view at full size.

Submit more information on this veteran →