Everyone has heard of Washington, D.C., and some know about the space needle in Seattle, in the state of Washington. However, not many people know about Washington, Missouri. This community was the birthplace of James Lee Lenau.

01-09-47-ctsn-james-l-lenau-kia-uss-liberty1Jim received his elementary education at the Immaculate Conception School. It was during those growth years that he developed a love of sports. He competed at all levels in basketball, baseball and football, beginning with Little League and advancing to more structured competition in his future years.

Jim attended St. Francis Borgia School in Washington and during his last years of schooling, played American Legion Baseball. Jim enlisted in the Navy soon after his graduation from high school. He went to the basic training facility at San Diego and eventually wound up in San Francisco for special schooling. Jim came home on leave in April of 1967, joining the crew of the USS LIBERTY in Norfolk just prior to departure on their next African “safari.”

The ship was diverted and wound up off the Sinai Peninsula where Jim was killed along with 33 other shipmates.

On June 26, 1967, a funeral mass was held at the Immaculate Conception Church in Washington. Jim was buried in the church cemetery.

James would have been 70 years old today.