Claude Albert Clemmens had a sad childhood. Born Feb. 15, 1919, in little Talala, Oklahoma 35 miles northeast of Tulsa, his mother died just before his 4th birthday. He was 13 when his father died after a long illness.
His mother, Maude Smith Clemmens, was a homemaker and his father, George Clemmens, a farmer.
The son left Talala, population 188, in April 1940 to enlist in the Navy.
He was a seaman first class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.
His body was recovered and an older sister, Ella, had him buried after the war at Fair View Cemetery, where his parents are also buried.
Sources: Census; Navy muster roll; U.S. Headstone Application for Military Veterans; grave markers; the Claremore (Oklahoma) Progress. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.