EM3c Cecil Eugene Whitcomb


EM3c Cecil Eugene Whitcomb

Cecil Eugene Whitcomb was born Jan. 3, 1922 at Homer, Michigan 40 miles south-southeast of Lansing. His mother, Mary Mead Whitcomb, was a homemaker, and his father, Seth Whitcomb, a farmer.

The son, known as “Gene,” graduated in 1940 from Homer High School, where he was class president, on the yearbook and newspaper staffs, performed in a play, and played basketball, baseball, track, and football. He also was a bank janitor, earning $100 for 32 weeks’ work in 1939 – the equivalent of about $1,900 in 2022 dollars.

Mr. Whitcomb left Homer, population 1,145, in September 1940 to enlist in the Navy.

He was an electrician’s mate 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.

A memorial service honored him at the Homer community hall on Memorial Day 1942. The American Legion Post in Homer was named in his honor and that of a local man killed in World War I.

His brother, Seth, served in the Canadian Army during the war.


Sources: the Battle Creek (Michigan) Enquirer; Census; Navy muster roll; 1940 Homer High yearbook. Yearbook photo. 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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