PVT Abner Franklin Power

Unknown Sailor

PVT Abner Franklin Power

Abner Franklin Power was born Oct. 19, 1922 in Oklahoma. His father was a railroad postal clerk and his mother, Louada Colley Power, was a homemaker.

By 1920 the family was in McAlester, population 10,632, about 100 miles east-southeast of Oklahoma City. The boy was still four when his father died in February 1927 in Atlanta, Georgia. His mother remarried by 1929, when the family, which included an older sister, was living in Clinton, a county seat in west-central Oklahoma.

Frank or “L’il Abner” as he was known, was nine when his step-father, Edward Venamon, died in 1932.

By the time of the spring 1940 Census the mother and son were still in Clinton. She was a beauty shop operator and earned $0 in 1939 for 44 weeks of work, while Frank was a newspaper apprentice and earned $165 over 17 weeks. He had started as a delivery boy, became a stereotyper, and by the time of his enlistment in the Marines was editor of the weekly Clinton Times-Tribune. Mr. Power graduated from Clinton High School in 1940.

He enlisted in June 1941 and was a private when he was killed on the U.S.S. Arizona in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor less than six months later.

He was honored at a memorial in February 1942 at the First Baptist Church in Clinton. A quartet of former classmates performed, and the pastor titled his sermon “He Shall Rise Again.”

A cenotaph in his memory is at Crest Lawn Memorial Park in Atlanta, Georgia where his parents are buried. They grew up in Georgia.

Another Clinton man, Victor Willard Ogle, also died on the Arizona. He was five years older than Mr. Power and graduated from Clinton High in 1935. The two may have known of each other before they ended up on the battleship. The west-central Oklahoma town had a population of just 6,700 in 1940.

The high school lauded them at a joint memorial service in February 1942. The local American Legion post, Number 41, was renamed in 1946 to include their names alongside that of Luther Hobbs, a Clinton man killed in France in World War I.


Sources: The Daily Oklahoman of Oklahoma City; The Clinton (Oklahoma) Daily News; Census; application for military headstone; Census; Marine photo. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.

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