MM1c Garland Wade Van atta

Unknown Sailor

MM1c Garland Wade Van atta

Garland Wade Van Atta joined the Navy when he was 17, leaving a job at the Elks home in Findlay, Ohio 40 miles south of Toledo.

Nicknamed Mike, he was a machinist’s mate and petty officer first class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

Mr. Van Atta was survived by his widow, Alicia Dorothy Dexter Van Atta, whom he married in 1931 in New York, and by their son, Bobby. They lived in Long Beach, California, which was adjacent to the battleship’s home port. His last re-enlistment was on July 9, 1938.

Mr. Van Atta was born Aug. 18, 1910 in Union Township, Ohio 10 miles southwest of Findlay to Allen Wade Van Atta, a refinery fireman, and Blanche Gilmer Van Atta, a homemaker. By 1920 the family had moved to Findlay, where the son attended the local schools.


Sources: the Republican Courier of Findlay, Ohio; Census; New York marriage index. Special thanks to William Van Natta for much of the information in this profile and for the photograph of Garland with his son. 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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