Ivan Lee Block was born May 29, 1918 in St. Johns, Arizona, but his family soon moved to New Mexico.
When he was born his father, Vern Block, was a farmer, and his mother, Viola Buckelew Block, a homemaker.
Ivan Lee attended schools at Belen about 30 miles south of Albuquerque, and then worked as a laundry deliveryman. He and a younger brother, Charles, traveled to Denver to enlist in the Navy on July 9, 1938.
Ivan Lee was a pharmacist’s mate and petty officer second class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.His brother became a chief machinist’s mate and served on several ships, including the light carrier U.S.S. San Jacinto with the future President George H. W. Bush, through September 1945.
Sources: The Albuquerque (New Mexico) Journal; Census; Navy muster rolls; Historical Society of New Mexico; grave marker. Naval History and Heritage Command photo. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.