PVT Bernard Arthur Weier

Unknown Sailor

PVT Bernard Arthur Weier

Twenty miles west of Chicago, Bernard Arthur Weier “was a favorite with students and teachers” at Downers Grove Community High School, the local newspaper reported after he was killed on the U.S.S. Arizona in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

“His ever-ready smile, his good nature and amiable disposition won for him a place in the hearts of everyone,” said the Downers Grove Reporter.

Mr. Weier was born Feb. 18, 1917 in Chicago to Fred Weier, a butcher, and Harriet Herbold Weier, a homemaker.

Bernie, as he was known, grew up in Downers Grove. In high school he belonged to the biology and Latin clubs and served two years on the school council. He was a member of the newspaper staff all four years and as a senior was its business manager.

The 1940 Census identified Mr. Weier as a driver for Home Laundry. It said he worked 52 weeks the previous year and earned $936 – the equivalent of about $18,000 in 2022 dollars.

He enlisted in the Marines on June 17, 1941, and was a private when he was killed. He is buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at the Punchbowl in Honolulu.


Sources: Special thanks to Mr. Weier’s niece Kathy McGhee for much of this information. Other sources include The Downers Grove Reporter; 1936 Downers Grove Community High yearbook; Illinois birth index; Census. Marine photograph. 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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