S2c Edward Henry Wright

Unknown Sailor

S2c Edward Henry Wright

Edward Henry Wright was born Nov. 12, 1919 in St. Cloud, Minnesota. His mother, Agnes Kahne Wright, was a homemaker and his father, Forrest Edward Wright, a teamster at a retail lumber business.

The family moved to Chicago between 1933 and April 1935. They lived on the top floor of a four-flat brick walk-up in the Lincoln Park neighborhood.

By April 1940, Edward had completed 8th grade and was working as a machinist at a plumbing supply factory. He’d earned $180 the previous year for 12 weeks of work – about $3,500 in 2022 dollars. As for most families during the Great Depression, times were difficult for the Wrights. The father was a watchman at a tobacco warehouse, a sister worked as a binder at a box factory, and another brother assembled radios. Combined, the four employed relatives in 1939 earned $1,953 – nearly $38,000 today – to support their household of seven.

Young Mr. Wright enlisted in the Navy on Sept. 27, 1940. He was a seaman second class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.


Sources: the St. Cloud (Minnesota) Times; R.L. Polk St. Cloud City Directory 1931-1932; the Chicago Tribune; the Northwest Herald of Woodstock, Illinois; Census; Navy muster roll; Minnesota birth index. 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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