NORTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF MILITARY AND VETERANS AFFAIRS
413 N. SALISBURY STREET, RALEIGH, NC 27699
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: Thursday, October 7, 2021
Contact: Jessica Coscia
World War II MIA, U.S. Army First Lieutenant James Earl Wright, repatriation, and memorial services
RALEIGH: 1st Lt. James Earl Wright will be received by his family on Friday, October 8 at 6:00 p.m. at Raleigh – Durham International Airport. Members of the North Carolina National Guard Honor Guard, Joint Force Headquarters, will perform plane side honors before an honorable transfer is conducted and remains are laid to rest in Lumber Bridge, North Carolina.
The public is invited to pay their respects to 1st Lt. Wright at Lumber Bridge Baptist Church for a memorial service, located at 100 Church St., Lumber Bridge, NC 28357 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 12.
Assistant Secretary Terry Westbrook of the North Carolina Department of Military and Veterans Affairs will present 1st Lt. Wright’s family with a proclamation, signed by Governor Roy Cooper, declaring October 8, 2021, as “First Lieutenant James Earl Wright Day” in North Carolina.
Governor Cooper has ordered all United States and North Carolina flags at state facilities to be lowered to half-staff from sunrise on Friday, October 8 to sunset on October 12, in honor of 1st Lt. Wright and all those who have fought for our country overseas and never returned home.
“James E. Wright made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our nation, and we are grateful for his dedication to duty and selfless commitment to country,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “Our thoughts are with his family as they welcome him home one last time and hopefully receive some closure from his return. No matter what, we remain committed to bringing every North Carolinian back to our state regardless of how long it takes.”
LtGen (Ret.) Walter Gaskin, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Military and Veterans Affairs said “Another brave soldier who fought for freedom in World War II and paid the ultimate price has been returned home. As a World War II veteran and a member of the greatest generation, First Lieutenant James Earl Wright’s courage and sacrifice will always be remembered by a grateful nation, and today we are reminded of the importance of our solemn commitment to continue the search for our missing in action until all are returned home."
Media Opportunity: The arrival and memorial will be open to credentialed press. Imagery of plane side honors for the burial and memorial service of 1st Lt. James Earl Wright and the presentation of the proclamation to the family available upon request.
First Lieutenant James Earl Wright was born in Parkton, NC on October 16, 1918, to parents Mami Chason Wright and Robert A. Wright. 1st Lt. Wright heroically served in the United States Army during World War II and was assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 11th Infantry Regiment, 5th Infantry Division and was killed in action on September 10, 1944, during a retreat across the Moselle River near Dornot, France, in an area known as the “Horseshoe Woods.”