FC3c Edward Alfred Walther


FC3c Edward Alfred Walther

The mother of Edward Alfred Walther received word in mid-December 1941 that he was missing following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Helen Miller Walther Leach must have held out hope that her son would still be found alive, and especially when flowers from him arrived at her Covington, Kentucky home on Christmas Day.

Sadly, Edward, a fire controlman and petty officer third class on the U.S.S. Arizona, ordered the flowers on Dec. 6, the day before he was killed.

It wasn’t until February 1942 that the Navy officially concluded that he was dead.

Mr. Walther was born Sept. 5, 1922 in Kenton County, Kentucky across the Ohio River from Cinncinnati. His father, also named Edward, was a postal clerk and his mother a homemaker.

He graduated from Holmes High School in Covington in 1940 after starring in basketball for the school. He and a friend and fellow graduate, William Walker Ford, enlisted in the Navy together on Sept. 5, 1940. Mr. Ford also died on the Arizona. Their families lived about a two-minute walk apart.

A third Holmes High student, Warren John Richardson, also died on the battleship. He was three years older and apparently left school in February 1938 to enlist. The school wasn’t large — with about 150 students in each grade — but it isn’t clear whether he knew Mr. Walther and Mr. Ford before they all ended up on the Arizona


Sources: The Cincinnati (Ohio) Enquirer; the Kentucky Post of Covington; the Lexington (Kentucky) Herald; Census; Kentucky birth index; Holmes High yearbooks. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.

NOTE: If you are a family member related to this crew member of the U.S.S. Arizona, or have additional information, pictures or documents to share about his life or service to our county please contact us through our FAMILY MEMBER SUBMISSION FORM