SC3c Avis Boyd Putnam

Unknown Sailor

SC3c Avis Boyd Putnam

Avis Boyd Putnam was born July 29, 1922 in Oklahoma, possibly in Frederick near the Texas border where the parents lived by 1920. His mother, Octavia Briscoe Putnam, was a homemaker and his father, Nomer Putnam, a watchman.

By April 1930 the family had returned to Alabama, where the mother and two of Avis’s three brothers had been born. They moved again, to the Houston, Texas, area, by April 1935.

The late April 1940 Census says Boyd (no mention of Avis) had completed 6th grade and was still in school. The father was a foreman at a paper mill and the two older brothers worked at an oil refinery. The father earned $520 over 26 weeks in 1939 while the two brothers earned $1,380 and $1,300 for work throughout the year. 

The recent student enlisted in the Navy on Aug. 1, 1940. He was a ship’s cook and petty officer third class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

His two older brothers also served in World War II — Lon in the Marine Corps and Clifton in the Army.


Sources: Census; Navy muster roll; graver markers; Texas death certificate. 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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