PVT Francis James Pedrotti

Unknown Sailor

PVT Francis James Pedrotti

Francis James Pedrotti was born June 21, 1919 in Franklin County, Missouri west of St. Louis  to Dennis Pedrotti, a farmer, and Mary Timlin Pedrotti, a homemaker.

By 1920 the family was in tiny Calvey, a town that lost its post office in 1908 and is now extinct, moved 10 miles northeast to Pacific, population about 1,300, and in 1923 re-settled in St. Louis. Mary Pedrotti died when their only son was 10.

The 1930 Census identified the father as a carpenter, but by 1940 he was a custodian at St. Rita’s Catholic Church in Vinita Park.

Son Francis attended St. Rita’s Catholic School and then McBride, an all-boys Catholic school from which he graduated in 1938. He was an apprentice tile setter when the spring 1940 Census was conducted. By the standards of the time the $870 he earned in 29 weeks of work the previous year was good money.

Francis enlisted in the Marines on Sept. 26, 1940, and soon joined the crew of the U.S.S. Arizona. He was a member of the battleship’s whale-boat racing team.

Mr. Pedrotti was a private when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

A bronze plaque in his memory was installed at the entrance to St. Rita’s School a few weeks after his death.


Sources: the St. Louis (Missouri) Post-Dispatch; The St. Louis Star and Times; Census; Marine muster rolls; McBridge High School alumni association. Marine photograph. 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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