SK3c Harry Lynn Malson

Unknown Sailor

SK3c Harry Lynn Malson

Born Sept. 18, 1918, Harry Lynn Malson was 11 months old when his father, William “Harry”, died suddenly in August 1919 at age 33. He had been a chicken picker at the Swift packing plant in Decatur, Illinois. 

His mother, Ruth, soon moved with her son to Indianapolis, Indiana, where she got a job as a laborer at a “chain works.” She remarried the next spring.

Mr. Malson attended Arsenal Technical High in Indianapolis for two years and enlisted in the Navy on Dec. 3, 1935 after his 17th birthday. By April 20, 1936, he reported aboard the U.S.S. Arizona. He was a storekeeper and petty officer third class when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941. A memorial service at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis honored him the next February.

Mr. Malson had married in Seattle on Jan. 12, 1941, while the Arizona was at the Puget Sound Naval Yard for repairs and upgrades. His wife, Frances “Frankie” LeGary, was from Washington.

In a letter to his mother 10 days after his marriage, Mr. Malson wrote: “Underway to San Pedro, and it’s good to be out in the good old deep again. I left Frankie at the ferry building in Bremerton crying her little heart out, because she couldn’t come with me. Boy, that first parting was sure tough. But she will soon get used to it.”

In his closing he added, “Mom, I’ve really got something here, and I’m really happy with her.”


Sources: The Indianapolis Star; the Decatur Daily Review of Decatur, Illinois; Census records; marriage record; Navy muster roll; Jan. 22, 1941 letter from Mr. Malson to his mother, as published in the September 2015 “At ‘Em Arizona” newsletter published by the USS Arizona Reunion Association; U.S. Veterans Administration; Defense Department. 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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