SGT Dexter Wilson Fincher,

Unknown Sailor

SGT Dexter Wilson Fincher

Dexter Wilson Fincher had been a Marine field cook (equivalent to a corporal) for nearly a year when he chose to start over as a private to learn gunnery. That was in May 1940.

He had made sergeant – four promotions to three chevrons – by the time he was killed on the U.S.S. Arizona in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

Mr. Fincher was born Feb. 23, 1917 to John Fincher, a building painter, and Grace Barney Fincher, a homemaker. The 1920 Census showed the family living in Crook County in central Oregon east of the Cascades.

By the summer of 1935 Dexter worked at a Civilian Conservation Corps camp in the Willamette National Forest. The CCC was a Depression-era federal jobs program. He enlisted in the Marines on July 10, 1939.

Dexter Fincher Post 1412 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Prineville, Oregon, was mustered in the summer of 1942 in his honor. There is a cenotaph in his memory at Juniper Haven Cemetery in Prineville. His parents are buried there.


Sources: The Bend (Oregon) Bulletin; the Central Oregonian; marker at Juniper Haven Cemetery in Prineville, Oregon; Census; Marine muster roll. Marine 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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