SC3c Elmer Elias Yates

Unknown Sailor

SC3c Elmer Elias Yates

Elmer Elias Yates was born March 3, 1914 in Brigham, Box Elder County, Utah 20 miles north of Ogden. His mother, Elizabeth Larsen Yates, was a homemaker and his father, Elias Yates, a foreman for a sheep camp.

In September 1933 he married Eva Johnson, but the couple reportedly divorced within five months.

The April 1940 Census said Elmer had made it as far as his junior year of high school and was working as a dairy laborer. In 1939 he had earned $650 for 40 weeks of work – about $12,500 in 2022 dollars. He was living with his mother and four younger siblings. Brigham’s population was 5,641.

Mr. Yates enlisted in the Navy on July 26, 1940, and was a ship’s cook and petty officer third class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

There is a cenotaph in his memory at the Brigham City Cemetery.

At least one of his brothers — Lamont — also served in World War II. He was in the Army from November 1942 through August 1945.


Sources: the Salt Lake Tribune of Salt Lake City, Utah; Census; Navy muster roll; application for military headstone or marker; U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs death file. 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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