Wednesday, December 7, 2011

December 7, 1941: Alabamians at Pearl Harbor

U.S.S. Arizona in flames on December 7, 1941
Courtesy of the National Park Service
The speech delivered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt one day after the surprise Japanese attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawai'i, still touches deep into the hearts of Americans:

Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. - Franklin Delano Roosevelt, December 8, 1941.

The total loss of life during the attack was listed as 2,390.  Another ----- men and women were wounded. The majority of these were sailors in the U.S. Navy, most of them dying aboard the U.S.S. Arizona. The casualty list includes 49 civilians killed with another 35 wounded. Included among the dead civilians were children as young as 7 months.

Explosion aboard the U.S.S. Shaw
Photo courtesy of the National Park Service
The servicemen and women and civilians killed came from every state and the then Territory of Hawai'i. Among them were dozens of Alabamians.

I have not been able to find a complete list of all servicemen from Alabama killed at Pearl Harbor, but the following men are known to have died aboard the U.S.S. Arizona.  If you know of others, please let me know and I will add them:

Adams, Robert Franklin
Benson, James Thomas
Bibby, Charles Henry
Bishop, Millard Charles
Black, James Theron
Blankenship, Theron A.
Boyd, Charles Andrew
Broadhead, Johnnie Cecil
Chandler, Donald Ross
Frizzell, Robert Niven
Hindman, Frank Weaver
Holland, Claude Herbert, Jr.
Holmes, Lowell D.
Hughes, Lewis Burton, Jr.
Isom, Luther James
Johnson, Samuel Earle
Jones, Daniel Pugh
Jones, Woodrow Wilson
McCary, William Moore
McGrady, S.W.G.
Morris, Owen Newton
Murdock, Charles Luther
Murdock, Melvin Elijah
Nichols, Alfred Rose
Nichols, Louis Duffie
Peleschak, Michael
Penton, Howard Lee.
Putnam, Avis Boyd
Rogers, Thomas Sprugeon
Shores, Ireland (or Irland?), Jr.
South, Charles Braxton
Wilson, Comer A.
Woolf, Norman Bragg
Others from Alabama known to have been killed in the attack include:

John Arnold Austin of Warrior, who gave his own life aboard U.S.S. Oklahoma to save the lives of 15 of his shipmates. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.

Julius Ellsberry of Birmingham, one of 62 black servicemen who gave their lives at Pearl Harbor. He died aboard the U.S.S. Oklahoma.

If you would like to review the complete casualty lists for Pearl Harbor, the National Park Service maintains an excellent listing at

You can learn more about Pearl Harbor, which is now part of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument at

An excellent place in Alabama to learn more about World War II is the Battleship U.S.S. Alabama at Mobile Bay. To learn more, please visit:

No comments:

Post a Comment