Francis Severin Alberovsky was a baby when his half-brother, Army Corporal Albert C. Painsipp, earned the Distinguished Service Cross for his heroism on the Fourth of July, 1918 in Belgium. He single-handedly attacked a German machine gun encampment, and though wounded in the leg, attacked with grenades and drove off the enemy.
Francis also gave his life for the United States. He was a boilermaker first class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.
Francis was born in Illinois on May 7, 1916. His father, Severin, known as John D., was chief of police in Batavia west of Chicago. His mother, Barbara Weinzetti Painsipp Alberovsky, was a homemaker who died when Francis was 12. Both parents and a half-brother were Austrian immigrants.
In an essay for the Elburn (Illinois) Herald in 2002, Dennis C. Ryan wrote that his father and young Mr. Alberovsky were friends. “He and my dad did all those things wild young boys do together, they fought, played, stole fruit from neighbors’ gardens, swam and fished in the river, traded lies and generally got into mischief.”
Francis graduated from Batavia High School in 1934 and enlisted in the Navy in November 1935.
He married Marie Donna Jensen, a resident of Long Beach, California, in 1939. His father was killed in a car crash the next year while on duty. School children and businesses collected money to erect a monument in his memory at East Batavia Cemetery.
Francis was inducted into the Batavia Public Schools Hall of Honor in 2017.
Sources: Belvidere (Illinois) Daily Republican; Chicago Tribune; Elburn (Illinois) Herald; Arizona marriage record; grave markers; Batavia Public Schools; Navy muster roll; “The Batavia Historian,” published by the Batavia Historical Society; 1934 Batavia High School yearbook; U.S. Defense Department. Marine Corps photograph. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.