GM2c Henry Francis Ochoski

Unknown Sailor

GM2c Henry Francis Ochoski

Henry Francis Ochoski was a standout basketball player at the public high school in Aberdeen, Washington south of Olympic National Park.

A top scorer in the Southwest Washington Conference in 1938 — the year he graduated — he also ran track and played football. He was a “consistent, whole-hearted” hoopster, the school yearbook said.

The Depression hit the coastal town particularly hard, shutting down all but nine of the 37 sawmills that were the backbone of its economy. The population dropped from 21,700 in 1930 to a bit over 18,800 in 1940. Mr. Ochoski left in October 1938 to enlist in the Navy. He was a gunner’s mate on the U.S.S. Arizona, earning a promotion to petty officer second class six days before he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

He was born Nov. 30, 1919 in Cosmopolis — about two miles southeast of Aberdeen. His father, Frank Ochoski, was a harness maker and his mother, Sophia Ewanyszyn Ochoski, a homemaker. The parents were born in Poland and first immigrated to Canada, where their six oldest children were born. They moved to Cosmopolis in 1918.

Their oldest child, Harry, died in 1923 at the age of 19. Their only other sons, twins, died in infancy.


Sources: the Kitsap (Washington) Sun; the Morning Olympian of Olympia, Washington; the Centralia (Washington) Daily Chronicle; Washington birth and death certificates; Navy muster roll; Census; application for U.S. naturalization. Aberdeen High School yearbook 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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