Sept. 3, 2021
Seaman First Class Freddie Falgout: First Military Casualty of World War II
On the evening of August 20, 1937, on the eve of his 21st birthday, Seaman First Class Freddie Falgout was searching for a seat for movie night on the well deck of USS Augusta (CL-31). Augusta had arrived off Shanghai a week earlier, on August 14, 1937, and was moored on the Huangpu River. A humanitarian crisis was underway as hostilities between Chinese and Japanese military forces had resulted in the death of hundreds of civilians, including four Americans, and the ship and her crew were evacuating American citizens and refugees from Shanghai.