TWIN FALLS • On Monday, I had an email waiting for me in my inbox. The subject line said: Pearl Harbor Survivor you missed.
It was from a reader named Linda Helms. She told me we forgot someone from the list of Pearl Harbor survivors in my story about William “Bill” Bridges. She told me about Ray Helms from Oakley. Ray was in the Navy on the battleship Tennessee in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Helms died July 8, 1996 in Burley.
His brothers Tom Helms, Stowe Helms, Laurence Helms, Truman Helms and Robert Helms; and five cousins Herbert Helms, Hazelton (in 1941); Oliver Helms, Hazelton (in 1941); Willis Helms, Twin Falls; Mick Ellis, Eden; Haven Helms, Wheat Ridge CO (in 1941) were also in the service in the South Pacific during WWII, but not at Pearl Harbor on that day. She wrote in her email that they were at Pearl Harbor either before or after Dec. 7, 1941.
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“All of these Helms boys came home after the war except Haven who was killed on board his ship coming home from Hawaii in January 1945,” Linda wrote.
She also attached a 1997 Times-News article about Helms.
When I emailed her back and told her I would add his name, she wrote: “Thank you. Ninety percent of the Helms family still live in the Magic Valley (since coming here from LaJunta, Colo. in 1905), and we are in close contact with the other 10 percent.”