Lionel Judah Tachna


Lionel Judah Tachna lost his life fighting in World War II in the United States Navy while serving aboard the Navy destroyer U.S.S. Sims in the Battle of the Coral Sea against the Japanese empire.

Read an account of the Battle of the Coral Sea which mentions Lionel Judah Tachna

Read a history of the U.S.S. Sims, the United States Navy destroyer upon which Lionel Judah Tachna served.


The following article comes from a Jewish publication about American Jews in World War II:

July 10, 1942

One statistican has estimated that there are 500,000 Jews serving in the armies of the United Nations.  The guess cannot be disputed because the figures are not available.  On the same basis, it is easy to challenge the accuracy of the statistician's guess and to estimate that the number is much greater.  Considering the number of Jews in the armed services of the United States, it is, at any rate, safe to say that there are more Jews fighting under the flag of freedom than at any time in the history of the Jewish people.

If any particular American soldier is singled out for tribute it is only as a symbol of the modest daring and simple faith with which all of our service men are going out to meet the enemy.  Such a symbol is Lionel Judah Tachna, engineer who went down on the destroyer U.S.S. Sims when she was struck by a Japanese bomb in the battle at Coral Sea.

Son of Max Tachna, a prominent New York attorney, Ensign Tachna enlisted six months before Pearl Harbor, telling his friends that Jews ought to be first in the ranks.  From then on he deliberately emphasized his middle name Judah, which he had seldom used before.  Honor graduate of Michigan University three years ago, he left the business career on which he was successfully launched to take his officer's insignia, insisting that he wanted to be put in charge of the engine room, most critical post of the service.

Lionel Judah Tachna offered his life to America's fighting force in the conviction that with grim determination and united effort the opposing force could be destroyed.  He would not wish his death to be mourned, for he knew full well the risks upon which he voluntarily embarked.  But he has the right to expect that those who live because of his death will help build a world in which Jews and all men may have that freedom and security for which Lionel Judah Tachna fought.


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