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John Arria

  • John Arria in a formal portrait taken in Japan, likely Yokohama. Source: John Arria Collection.

John Arria, from Massachusetts, joined Company G as a replacement for the losses suffered at Hill 260. He was assigned to the 1st Platoon. His comrades remembered him as friendly and cheerful, a good boost to the morale of others in his platoon. While on Cebu, he contracted a bad case of jungle rot, and had to be evacuated to Leyte for treatment. But he returned in time to accompany the unit on its triumphant entry to Japan. Photo #1 was taken during the occupation of Japan.

Decades after the war, in 2004, Arria made contact with the family of Ed Monahan, his former platoon sergeant. Arria had borrowed money in the Philippines from Monahan to repay a gambling debt, loaning his watch to Monahan as collateral. But when Monahan was sent home on points, he returned the watch to Arria, who had not yet acquired the funds to repay the debt. In 2004, Arria insisted on repaying this $30 to the family of Monahan. The funds were used to purchase a display case for the flag used at Monahan’s funeral. John Arria passed away in 2008.