S1c Gerald Herald Riggins

Unknown Sailor

S1c Gerald Herald Riggins

Gerald Herald Riggins was the oldest son of Bernard Riggins, a carpenter, and Belle Moore Riggins, a homemaker in Brule, Nebraska 10 miles from Colorado’s northeast corner at the start of the Nebraska panhandle.

Born Oct. 16, 1918, he attended the local schools and played center on the basketball team at Brule High, from which he graduated in 1937 when the town population was about 400. He worked in beet fields and at a grain elevator to earn money to attend a business school in Omaha. He completed one year and then joined the Navy in March 1940. He was assigned to the U.S.S. Arizona and was on the ship’s swim team.

Mr. Riggins was a seaman first class when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

His father was a private in the Marine Corps Reserves from March 1918 through February 1922. Gerald’s brother, Lester, served in the Coast Guard during World War II.


Sources: “Brule, Nebraska, First 100 Years. 1886-1986”; applications for military headstones or markers; Census; Navy muster roll; U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs death file. 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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