The son of Polish immigrants, Edward Bator is the namesake of Post 21 of the Polish Legion of American Veterans in New York Mills, New York about 50 miles east of Syracuse.
Mr. Bator was a fireman first class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.
The Bator Post erected a World War II monument in the town’s Veterans Park in 2013. One of the men it honors is Mr. Bator’s younger brother Barney, an Army sergeant killed by a mortar round in Belgium on Sept. 6, 1944. Barney is buried in Belgium while Edward remains on the sunken battleship in Hawaii.
Edward “used to send money back to support the family,” nephew Brian Miga said in a 2016 interview. “He sent Christmas presents back to the family before the tragedy struck.”
Edward Bator was born March 15, 1915, to Julia Kantor Bator, a homemaker, and Stanislaw Bator, a spinner at a mill. The son attended Sacred Heart of Jesus / Holy Cross Parish Polish National Catholic Church.
He enlisted in the Navy on Jan. 22, 1940. At that time New York Mills was a town of 3,628 and many of its adults worked in textile mills.
Sources: Researcher Eugene E. Dziedzic; the Utica (New York) Observer-Dispatch; WURT TV, the village of New York Mills; Census; Navy muster roll. Relative Susan Harvey supplied the photograph. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.