Joseph Raymond Sampson was born in Kentucky, the son of Henry Andrew Sampson and Ellen Malinda Martin. He was married to Mary Ella Phillips and father of Billy Sampson, Mary Jo Sampson and Marcella Sampson.

Joseph Sampson served aboard the USS Indianapolis
Sampson died when the heavy cruiser Indianapolis was torpedoed and sunk by Japanese submarine I 58 northeast of Leyte on July 29, 1945. Of the 1,196 men aboard, about 900 made it into the water in the twelve minutes before she sank. Few life rafts were released. Most survivors wore the standard kapok life jacket. Shark attacks began with sunrise of the first day, and continued until only 316 men were still alive when rescued, almost five days later.

Memorialized at Manila American Cemetery in Fort Bonifacio, Manila, Philippines

The Knoxville News-Sentinel, August 16, 1945:
Seaman Second Class Joseph Raymond Sampson, 37, has been listed by the War Department as missing since the sinking by the Japs of the USS Indianapolis, 450 miles off of Leyte, July 30. He is the sixth Knoxvillian reported lost in the sinking of the cruiser. He is the son of the late Mrs. H.A. Sampson, of Corbin, Ky. His wife and four children reside at 332 West Vermont Avenue. He joined the service Sept. 1, 1943, and had been employed by Southern Railway. He was in on leave in May while his ship was being repaired. He had training in San Francisco and had been on the cruiser Indianapolis since finishing his training. He had been in six major battles. He has four brothers in service – Robert and Shirley, in South Pacific; Charlie at Great Lakes, Mich., and Roy in Germany. The first three are in the Navy, Roy is in the Army.

  • Rank: Seaman Second Class
  • Date of birth:
  • 19 October 1908
  • Date of death: 30 July 1945
  • County: Knox
  • Hometown: Knoxville
  • Service Branch: Navy
  • Division/Assignment: USS Indianapolis
  • Theater: Pacific
  • Conflict: World War II
  • Awards: Purple Heart, Navy Cross
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Manila American Cemetery, Fort Bonifacio, Manila, Philippines
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar VIII, Top Panel
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