S1c Ivan Ayers Westerfield


S1c Ivan Ayers Westerfield

Ivan Ayers Westerfield was born March 4, 1920 in Knoxville, a town in northwest Illinois with 1,708 residents. His father, Frank Westerfield, was a farmer and his mother, Sarah Anna Lightner Westerfield, a homemaker.

Ivan, the youngest of five children, was not quite five when his father died in February 1925. By early 1930 Ivan and his mother were at the McKinley Industrial Home in Los Angeles, where she worked as a matron. The home cared for orphaned, abused, and homeless boys.

They moved to Lancaster in northern Los Angeles County in the 1930s. Ivan graduated there from Antelope Valley High School in 1938. The spring 1940 Census identified his mother as the head of their two-person household and said she was a rancher.

Young Mr. Westerfield enlisted in the Navy on Aug. 6, 1940. He was a seaman first class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

A walkway at Lancaster Cemetery is named in his memory.


Sources: the Antelope Valley Press; Lancaster (California) Cemetery; Census; Navy muster roll; grave markers; Antelope Valley High School yearbook. 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