Unknown Sailor

PFC Herbert Allen Dreesbach

Many of the men killed on the U.S.S. Arizona at Pearl Harbor had brothers and even fathers who also served in World War II. But only a few had wives or sisters in the war.

Herbert Allen Dreesbach’s sister, Elaine Hazel Dreesbach Taylor, was one of them. After his death she, too, became a Marine. A 1944 story in the Chicago Tribune said she was stationed in Hawaii and part of the first contingent of women Marines sent overseas. She died in 2007 at the age of 87.

Mr. Dreesbach was born March 18, 1917 to Arthur Dreesbach, a bookkeeper and salesman, and Ella Behrend Dreesbach, a homemaker. He graduated from Foreman High School in Chicago, as did his sister. He was a newspaper carrier for the Chicago Tribune when he was a boy and later worked as a machinist at the Ink Ventilation Co.

He enlisted in the Marines on Oct. 7, 1940, and was a private first class when he died in the Japanese attack, Dec. 7, 1941.

He was a member of the Arizona’s whale boat rowing team that was runner-up in the fall 1941 fleet championship. He was also a good golfer.

Mr. Dreesbach expected to be home for Christmas, and his mother was excited that she would soon see him for the first time in his dress blue uniform. That did not happen, of course, but a photograph he’d mailed arrived after he died.

Sources: The Chicago Tribune; the Chicago Garfieldian; the Chicago Daily Times; Roller-Chenal Funeral Home; Census; Marine muster roll. Marine photo of Mr. Dreesbach. Photo of his sister is from the Chicago Tribune. 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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