SM3c Casper Ehlert,

Unknown Sailor

SM3c Casper Ehlert

Casper Ehlert’s favorite hobbies were swimming and drawing pictures.

When he was 19 he joined the Navy. In his spare time aboard the U.S.S. Arizona, he painted watercolors of ships and sent them home to his parents in Wisconsin.

Mr. Ehlert was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941. He was a signalman and petty officer third class.

He was born on Feb. 8, 1919, in Sheboygan to Russian immigrants Casper and Anna Ehlert. The father, a foundry worker, died when the boy was three. His mother, a homemaker, remarried the next year to another Russian immigrant, John Richter.

The young Mr. Ehlert attended Trinity Lutheran School and graduated from Central High in 1937. He worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps, a Depression-era federal jobs program, before enlisting in the Navy.

On the 60th anniversary of his uncle’s death, Alex Ehlert Jr. told a reporter for the Sheboygan Press that Casper might have become a great painter. “He had talent, there’s no doubt. But we’ll just never know.

“For all of those boys who didn’t come back, we’ll just never know.”

Sources: The Sheboygan Press; Census; Navy muster rolls; Veterans Administration. 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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