ENS George Anderson Wolf Jr.

George Anderson Wolf Jr

ENS George Anderson Wolf Jr.

George Anderson Wolf Jr.was born Dec. 1, 1917 in Altoona, PA. He graduated from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in 1939, then went to work at his family’s furniture store, Wolf Furniture, in Altoona, Pennsylvania.

With war looming, he left Wolf Furniture at the advice of this brother in September 1940 to become a midshipman in the Naval Reserve at the U.S. Naval Academy. The United States was fast-tracking the training of ensigns under their V-7 Program with the goal of commissioning 9,000 in two years.

Mr. Wolf earned his commission in May 1941. He was assigned to a seaplane tender in the engineering department and then transferred to the U.S.S. Arizona.  He was killed on the U.S.S. Arizona on Dec. 7, 1941, in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

More than 2,000 people filled the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona on Dec. 16 for a requiem Mass. The service included all of the students from Altoona Catholic High School, from which Mr. Wolf graduated in 1935. Politicians, military honor guards, and two dozen priests and the bishop were also present. Two days later at Georgetown’s chapel the late ensign was honored at a second memorial Mass.

His father George Sr and his uncle owned and operated a furniture store. His mother, Dorothea Prendergast Wolf, was a homemaker.

The son attended Waldron Academy, a Catholic school in Merion, Pennsylvania, and then St. John’s Catholic School in Altoona. After high school he attended the University of Notre Dame for a year before transferring to Georgetown.

His brother Gerald also served in the Navy. His brother Charles, a Jesuit priest, was studying languages in Manila, Philippines, when Japan invaded that country hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was a prisoner of war until 1945.

Wolf Furniture had opened its doors in 1902, had stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia and was still in business until 2020 when it was closed due to COVID19. 


Sources: the Altoona (Pennsylvania) Tribune; the Altoona Mirror; The Washington Post; the National Catholic Welfare Council News Service; Census; Commonwealth of Pennsylvania World War II Veterans’ Compensation Bureau. Navy 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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