SC1c Harold Mathias Soens

Unknown Sailor

SC1c Harold Mathias Soens

Harold Mathias Soens was born Jan. 1, 1912 in Stillwater, Minnesota east of St. Paul on the St. Croix River across from Wisconsin. His mother, Hermina Luhmann Soens, was a homemaker and his father, William Mathias Soens, a farmer. The family included an older son.

By 1920 the family had moved five miles west to or near the small village of Grant about 12 miles north-northeast of the State Capitol in St. Paul. In April 1930 the family had returned to Stillwater, population 7,173, and the father was employed as an electrician. Harold Mathias completed high school there, most likely at Stillwater High.

He enlisted in the Navy on Aug. 12, 1935, but found time to marry Margaret Josephine O’Brien Soens, who arrived as new bride in Honolulu on Nov. 18 on the S.S. Monterey from Los Angeles.

In 1939 Mr. Soens re-enlisted in August and earned $864 for 52 weeks of work. By April 1940 he was stationed at the Submarine Base at Pearl Harbor. He was a ship’s cook and petty officer first class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was injured in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941. He was taken to the U.S. Naval Hospital, but died there on Dec. 10. He is buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at the Punchbowl in Honolulu.

Mr. Soens was survived by his widow and their two-year-old son, Harold Irvin Soens.


Sources: the San Diego (California) Union-Tribune; Census; Navy muster roll; commercial ship manifests. 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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