top of page

James B. Hightower, Sr.

U.S. Army
1943 - 1946

James was living in Atlanta, GA when he was drafted into the U.S. Army in November of 1943. He was 18 years old.

His first assignment was in Niagara Falls, NY. He was then transferred to Bridge Plaza, which was located on Innis Street in Staten Island.

While he was patrolling Port Richmond Ave, he met his wife-to-be, Johanna Reich, on Memorial Day Weekend in 1944. They were married on October 7, 1944, at St John’s Lutheran Church. While on Staten Island, James was also stationed at Miller Field, where he serviced airplanes. He was then
transferred to Fort IndianTown Gap in Pennsylvania and eventually to the Galápagos Islands in the South Pacific.

When he was discharged in 1946, he and Johanna resided at her childhood home on Harrison Ave. They had six children: James B. Hightower Jr, Carol Otten, Carl Hightower, Joanne Moccia, William Hightower, and Joseph Hightower. The family today consists of 10 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren, and 6 great-great-grandchildren. In honor of his name, there are now 5 generations of James B. Hightowers. And, James’ great-grandson, Scott Hightower, a North Carolina Army National Guardsman, has followed
in his great-grandfather’s footsteps. All because of a chance meeting on Port Richmond Ave!

After the war, he worked at many factories on the Island. He enjoyed horseback riding, was a lifeguard at one time and enjoyed swimming. He was good with his hands and could fix anything. He passed away on January 24, 1975, at the age of 49.

Sponsored by Joanne Moccia & Carol Otten (Hightower)

bottom of page