BM1c Clyde Jackson Rawson

Unknown Sailor

BM1c Clyde Jackson Rawson

Scrap-metal drives were organized across the country in the fall of 1942 to support the U.S. war effort. In their push to build planes, ships, tanks, and bombs, defense contractors needed more raw materials — and recycling of everything from rubber to paper.

Civilians scoured the country for items that might help America win World War II.

In Whaleyville, a tiny community in southeast Maryland near the Delaware border, the local salvage committee chairman was surprised to receive a pile of iron and steel with each piece marked in chalk “Tojo-Tokia.” Hideki Tojo was the Japanese prime minister and its Army leader. “Tokia” was an apparent misspelling of Tokyo.

The markings made sense when it was revealed that the scrap was donated by a farmer, Harry Rawson, whose son was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

Clyde Jackson Rawson was a boatswain’s mate and petty officer first class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he died.

He was born April 15, 1913 in Salisbury, Maryland about 15 miles west of Whaleyville. His mother, Alice Lewis Rawson, was a homemaker.

The son decided to enlist in the Navy when a recruiter visited his school, Buckingham High, in the spring of 1930. He signed up in September and spent most of the rest of his life on the Arizona.

Mr. Rawson’s body was recovered after the attack and is buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at the Punchbowl in Honolulu. His name is on a plaque at the Methodist church in Whaleyville.


Sources: the Daily Times of Salisbury, Maryland; The Morning News of Wilmington, Delaware; the Worcester Democrat and the Ledger-Enterprise of Pocomoke City, Maryland; Census; Navy muster roll; National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific; 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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