FC2c Elroy Vernon Peterson


FC2c Elroy Vernon Peterson

Elroy Vernon Peterson was born April 19, 1918 in North Dakota. His father, Marcus C. Peterson, was a railroad laborer, and his mother, Julia Augusa Peterson, a homemaker. The parents were immigrants — he from Denmark and she from Norway.

The father’s first wife had died in 1909, leaving him with two small children. He then married Julia and they had five children.

By 1920 the family lived in Barney, a tiny settlement about 45 miles south-southwest of Fargo. They later moved about 7 miles west to Wyndmere, population circa 550.

In 1933 the mother died, and less than four years later, so did the father.

Elroy, however, had enlisted in the Navy on July 12, 1935. He was a fire controlman and petty officer second class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

He was survived by his widow, Clara Stai Peterson, and a 16-month-old son. At the time of his death they were living in San Pedro, California, home port for the Arizona. Her parents lived in Wyndmere.


Sources: the Fargo (North Dakota) Forum; the San Pedro (California) News Pilot; Census; Navy muster roll; Defense Department. 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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