PVT Henry Kalinowski,

Unknown Sailor

PVT Henry Kalinowski

Ashtabula, Ohio has not forgotten Marine Private Henry Kalinowski.

Background on many of the 1,177 men who died on the U.S.S. Arizona at Pearl Harbor is hard to find, but not so for Mr. Kalinowski.

About 30 Ashtabula County residents were in Hawaii on Dec. 7, 2016, for the 75th anniversary of the attack. The group included members of the Ashtabula County Young Marines. Back home, a ceremony was held at the Ashtabula War Memorial.

Before that, in 2009, 30 miles of state route 11 in Ashtabula County was named Marine Private Henry Kalinowski Memorial Highway.

And before that, in 1997, the Marine Corps League detachment in Ashtabula was named in Mr. Kalinowski’s honor.

“The family asked why we named the Detachment after a private, and not a colonel or something,” Cliff Taft, the detachment commander told the Willoughby, Ohio, News-Herald in 2000. “He died in the line of duty. He was a Marine. And it doesn’t make any difference what his rank, he gave the ultimate.”

In the years immediately after Mr. Kalinowski’s death on Dec. 7, 1941, stores put his photo in their windows.

Mr. Kalinowski was born May 13, 1920 in Denmark Township to Adam and Antonia “Anna” Kalinowski, immigrants from Russian Poland, according to the Census. He was among the youngest of at least eight children. Times were tough. The family lost its farm during the Depression and some of the younger children, including Henry, moved in with older ones who were already out on their own. Mr. Kalinowski graduated from Ashtabula High School in June 1938. He was in the chorus and manager of the football team.

He wanted to go to college, but there was no money for that. Instead, he worked for the Works Progress Administration, a federal jobs program. He also looked for work in Utah and then enlisted there in March 1941. “He thought the Marines was the best, he’d get a good education there and he’d come out a man, a professional,” his sister, Josephine recalled years later.


Sources: Ashtabula Star Beacon; The News-Herald of Willoughby, Ohio; Census; Ohio death index; Ashtabula High yearbook; Defense Department. Marine photo. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.

NOTE: If you are a family member related to this crew member of the U.S.S. Arizona, or have additional information, pictures or documents to share about his life or service to our county please contact us through our FAMILY MEMBER SUBMISSION FORM