ENS Frank Stuart Lomax
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ENS Frank Stuart Lomax
Frank Stuart Lomax was born on April 24, 1918 in Broken Bow, Nebraska. His father, James, was a bank cashier. His mother, Anna Young Lomax, was a homemaker.
He attended elementary, junior school, and high school at Broken Bow and graduated with honors in 1934. He then attended the University of Nebraska in 1935-36, where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity until he was admitted to the Naval Academy.
The 1940 academy yearbook, The Lucky Bag, described him this way: “Four years ago the sand storms of Nebraska blew one of her toughest native sons all the way across the country to sea’s edge. He was christened Senor Lomax and summarily launched on a naval career. He meets the world’s woes with a chip on his shoulder. He snaps his fingers in the face of Demon Academics. He performs with the best of the intercollegiate gymnasts. Oh but, sorry girls, the Senor is the strong silent type — doesn’t believe in entangling feminine alliances and all that. A true idealist, a happy soul, and a stronghold of moral strength and wisdom, a man’s man — beat that if you can.”
As a gymnast, he once placed second in the Eastern Intercollegiate League.
He was commissioned an ensign on June 6, 1940, and was assigned to the U.S.S. Arizona. Mr. Lomax was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.
At his graduation he’d been given a ceremonial sword, which ended up back in his hometown in central Nebraska. About 1948 Tom Hill, then a boy, was helping a woman clean out her house when he saw the weapon. “I think this may have represented something very painful in her life and that may have been why she was getting rid of it. She was just throwing things out the window, kind of thing, and I thought ‘That’s too neat — I’ll take it,’ “ Hill told an Associated Press reporter years later.
Hill grew up and moved around the country, eventually living in Texas. But he kept the sword and one day decided to research it in hopes of returning it to the owner. He found the Palmer-Lomax American Legion Post in Broken Bow. Hill traveled there in August 2016 to present it at a ceremony attended by two Lomax relatives. The sword is displayed at the Veterans Memorial Building.
At least one of Mr. Lomax’s brothers, Harvard, served in the Navy as a research scientist.
Sources: The Associated Press; the Custer County (Nebraska) News; University of Nebraska yearbook; Census. Lucky Bag yearbook photograph. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.