GM3c Harry Robert Sharbaugh

Unknown Sailor

GM3c Harry Robert Sharbaugh

Harry Robert Sharbaugh was 29 days old when his mother died of influenza.

He was born Feb. 8, 1919 in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania 40 miles southeast of Scranton, the youngest of three children of Ella M. Repsher Sharbaugh and Harry Sharbaugh. The father, a railroad claims investigator and later a detective, lived in the area his entire life, but perhaps was unable to work and care for all of the children. By the time of the 1920 Census, Harry Jr. lived nearby with his grandmother and by no later than April 1935 with an aunt and uncle. 

He enlisted in the Navy on Oct. 16, 1940, and was a gunner’s mate and petty officer third class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941. He is buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at the Punchbowl in Honolulu.

His uncle, Andrew Mery, was gassed while serving as an infantryman in France in World War I. Mr. Mery and his wife, Jennie, had six children of their own, but their nephew stayed close in their memory. For many Decembers after his death at Pearl Harbor they presented communion bulletins at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in his honor.

Sources: grave marker; Pennsylvania death certificate; Commonwealth of Pennsylvania World War II Veterans’ Compensation Bureau; Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Veteran’s Compensation Application; Census;  The Daily Record of East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.

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