CTSN James Lee Lenau
January 9, 1947 – June 8, 1967
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.
Jim 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.
9 January 2021 at 15:42
God rest his soul. Thank you Mario for remembering those who gave their lives for our country – they are our true heroes. I was active duty when the attack occurred, and always remembered the highly classified messages sent to all NavSecGru duty stations, fully explaining the deliberate attacks by the Israeli Air Force.
10 January 2021 at 05:24
Thank you for keeping their memory. “Assault on the Liberty…” LCDR (Ret) James M. Ennes Jr., 1979 is a must read.
10 January 2021 at 07:02
Thank you Mario for another fine tribute to a fellow shipmate. I was on duty in NSG CincNavEur when LIBERTY was hit and was friends with Chief Linn, JC Smith and Warren Hersey – in fact, my wife, son and I lived in the apartment that had been home to JC and Sandy in the Kilburn section of London – and I sometimes even now have ‘dreams’ of
those days. May CTSN LENAU Rest In Peace.
11 January 2021 at 04:24
Thanks for remembering a shipmate from the Liberty. He and I reported aboard about the same time. Both of us from Missouri. Such a shame that there wasn’t any accountability. Sad day.
25 April 2021 at 18:08
I had just left the Navy at Rota, staying in Spain, when the Liberty was attacked. My view of Israel has carried that memory ever since. The politics of nations is nasty but when an “ally” kills one of your shipmates it can’t sit well, ever.
26 August 2021 at 01:30
Thank you for the information about James Lee Lenau, I was stationed on Midway when the attack took place. So difficult to believe when it became known. So sad. My heart pains when ever I think about it.