PHM1c Cleburne E. Carl Masterson

Unknown Sailor

PHM1c Cleburne E. Carl Masterson

Cleburne Earl Carl Masterson was born March 16, 1902 in Kansas to Eva Fittell Masterson and Henry Masterson.

By the time of the 1910 Census the family, which included a younger brother, lived in Beatrice, Montana, where the father was a lumber-yard merchant and the mother a homemaker.

By 1920 the family had moved to Pueblo, Colorado, and Cleburne was identified in the Census as an apprentice at an electric company. That was probably the Colorado Steelworks, where he applied in November 1917 and worked off and on, initially as a door boy in the open hearth department and later in the electric department, from May 1918 to March 1930. The April 1930 Census showed him still living with his parents and working as a railroad switchman. He married Helen Owen in Pueblo on Nov. 2, 1930.

It’s unclear when Mr. Masterson enlisted in the Navy, but a 1936 California voter registration card identified him as a Navy man. The 1940 Census said he, Helen, and their year-old daughter lived in Los Angeles. He earned $1,200 in 1939 as a pharmacist’s mate, the Census said.

Mr. Masterson was a pharmacist’s mate and petty officer 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 he is buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at the Punchbowl in Honolulu.

Mr. Masterson belonged to the Masonic Lodge and was a member of Silver State Lodge #95 in Pueblo.


Sources: The Pueblo (Colorado) Chieftain; Masonic Lodge; Census; U.S. Veterans Administration master index; Census; Navy muster roll; California voter registration; Colorado Steelworks employment record; Colorado marriage record; grave marker. 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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