Asbury Legare Booze was born in Augusta, Georgia on Sept. 10, 1908, but by the next spring he and his parents were living in Bridgeport, Connecticut. His father, Clarence George, was a lineman for Southern New England Telephone Co., and his mother, Pauline Hanner Booze, a homemaker.
The boy was two when his mother died — nine days after giving birth to a daughter, also named Pauline, in Augusta. His father remarried in 1914.
The 1920 Census shows Asbury and his sister living with their widowed maternal grandmother and four boarders at her home in Augusta. His name appears in the 1927 yearbook for the Academy of Richmond County, then a public school for white boys in Augusta. Mr. Booze enlisted in the Navy on Aug. 1, 1928 in Atlanta soon after leaving school. His grandmother died in 1930.
In August 1934 Mr. Booze re-enlisted. He was a coxswain earning $66 per month on the U.S.S. Marblehead, an Omaha class light cruiser commissioned in late 1923. He was a boatswain’s mate and petty officer first class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. His father had died in 1939, leaving his sister as his only immediate survivor.A brief article in the Dec. 23, 1941 Augusta Chronicle says he had not visited the city for 12 years. It said his service included four years in China, and Navy records confirm that his final re-enlistment was in August 1938 in Chefoo, China. He had been on the Arizona since April 1940.