Unknown Sailor

S1c Clarence Edward Buhr

Clarence Edward Buhr paid his way from Raton, in far northeast New Mexico, to Denver, Colorado to enlist in the Navy on Aug. 10, 1940.

The Navy would have paid for him to travel from its recruiting office in Albuquerque to Denver, but that would have tripled the distance of his 218-mile trip from home, so he paid.

By Oct. 14, Mr. Buhr was aboard the U.S.S. Arizona at its home port of San Pedro, California. He was a seaman first class when he was killed in Hawaii, in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

Mr. Buhr and his twin, Mary Anne, were born in Wyoming on March 31, 1922.  They were the oldest of 10 children. Their parents were Otto Buhr, a carpenter, and Anna Mary McGraw Buhr, a homemaker. The father served as a mechanic in a machine-gun battalion in World War I.

The family moved to Raton in 1928. The spring 1940 Census said both Clarence and Mary Anne had completed three years of high school and were still students — indicating that they graduated that year.

Most of Mr. Buhr’s siblings served in the military and one, Virgil, died while serving in the Navy in the Marshall Islands in 1952. Brother Robert enlisted in the Navy on the first anniversary of Clarence’s death and served until 1946. Brothers Jack, Bernard and Joseph also served in the Navy, as did a sister, Virginia.


Sources: the Albuquerque (New Mexico) Journal; Census; Navy muster roll, grave markers; U.S. headstone application for military veterans; marriage record. Navy 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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