World War II Honor Roll

James A. Wharton

Private First Class, U.S. Army

Service # 6719178

Company F
398th Infantry Regiment, 
100th Infantry Division

Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: 6-Apr-45
Buried at: Plot C Row 16 Grave 71
Lorraine American Cemetery
St. Avold, France 
Awards: Silver Star, Purple Heart

PRIVATE FIRST CLASS JAMES A. WHARTON was born in Pennsylvania on June 1, 1916 to Joseph Richard and Mellie B. Wharton. His father worked as a steamfitter at the Hog Island shipyard during World War I. His early years were spent at 2628 Chadwick Street in Philadelphia.  The family moved to Ivins Avenue in Delaware Township (present-day Cherry Hill) NJ in the late 1920s and were there through at least the spring of 1930, and later moved to Maple Shade NJ. He had an older sister, Emma, and a twin brother, Thomas P. Wharton.

James A. Wharton joined the Army at an early age. A career soldier, he re-enlisted on June 15, 1938 for what was supposed to be a three-year term. At that point he listed his hometown as being somewhere in Burlington County, his family apparently had already moved to Maple Shade. He was then serving with Company F, 18th Infantry Regiment at Staten Island NY. 

In June of 1939, while on leave, Private Wharton was a passenger in a car involved in a fatal automobile accident, in which Camden crime figure Robert Bumbrey was killed.

Private Wharton was later transferred to the 398th Infantry Regiment, 100th Infantry Division.  

Private First Class James A. Wharton was killed in action on April 6, 1945. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for actions at Jagstfeld, Germany when his unit crossed the Neckar River during the e0ght-day battle to take Heilbronn, Germany.

His brother Thomas P. Wharton lived in Maple Shade until his passing in December of 1988s.

New Jersey Mirror - January 4, 1939

Camden Man Killed

Robert Bumbrey, 57, colored, of 735 Walnut Street, Camden, a pedestrian, was killed at 4:40 on Friday morning when he was struck on the sidewalk at Eighth street and Kaighn Avenue, Camden, by an automobile that was hurled onto the walk by a collision with another car. Bumbrey died in West Jersey Homeopathic Hospital from internal injuries and a compound fracture of the leg. 

Drivers of the cars in the collision were Augustus Fisher, 25, of 1839 South Eighth street, Camden, and Ralph H. Deubel, 31, of 115 South Poplar avenue, Maple Shade. It was Fisher's car that killed Bumbrey.

Richard H. Watson, 50, of 26 South Spruce Street, Maple Shade, a passenger in Deubel's machine, suffered a head injury which was treated at West Jersey Hospital. Two other passengers, James A. Wharton, 22, of Company F, 18th Infantry, U.S.A., Staten Island, and Harry C. Bechler, 30, of 16 West Main Street, Maple Shade, were arrested by Policeman Fred Mueller, as the result of an altercation as he was taking them to the police accident bureau in a patrol wagon. 

Policeman Mueller charged Wharton with assault and battery on an officer and Bechler was held as a material witness. Bechler's wife, who was also in Deubel's car, reported the loss of a wrist watch valued at $15. Fisher and Deubel were held in $1,000 bail each on charges of death by automobile.