Arthur Anthony “Bud” Bersch was born and grew up in Muscatine, Iowa, where he was a star guard for the St. Mathias High basketball team. He also competed around town at boxing, broad jump, and ping pong.
He was born Aug. 16, 1920 to Edward Bersch, a highway inspector and surveyor, and Nellie Stapleton Bersch, a homemaker.
He briefly attended college, then enlisted in the Navy on Oct. 15, 1940. Mr. Bersch was a seaman first class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.
A requiem high Mass was held in his memory at St. Mathias Church late that December.
A second man from Muscatine, whose 1940 population was about 18,000, also died on the Arizona. David A. Leedy was about a year older than Mr. Bersch and graduated from Muscatine High School.
Sources: the Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune; Iowa application for WWII service compensation; Census; Navy muster roll. Naval History and Heritage Command photo. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.