S1c Jack G. Smalley

Unknown Sailor

S1c Jack G. Smalley

Jack G. Smalley was just shy of his 18th birthday in April 1940 when he followed his older brother Bud into the Navy.

They were stationed together at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Territory, but their reunion lasted only a few months when Bud was transferred to a ship in the Atlantic. Jack stayed at Pearl Harbor on the U.S.S. Arizona. He was a seaman first class when he was killed on Dec. 7, 1941, in the Japanese attack that forced the United States into World War II.  Jack died from wounds received while at his portside anti-aircraft battle station during the attack and he was buried in Plot B, Row 0, Grave 201, National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Bud survived the war and served until 1955. 

Jack was the second Smalley brother to die while in military service. The oldest, Nathaniel, died of pneumonia in 1932 at the Marine Hospital in Detroit.

A fourth brother, Vern Jr., also served in World War II — in the Army — and survived.

Jack was born April 22, 1922, the youngest son of Vern Smalley, an auto salesman, and Gladys Bonner Broderson Smalley, a homemaker. He attended Lagrange Elementary and Woodward High School in Toledo.

Mrs. Smalley was involved in many efforts to support war bond sales and sailors. She was once chosen Ohio’s Gold Star Mother of the year.

Sources: Toledo (Ohio) Blade; Navy muster rolls; cemetery marker; Michigan death certificate; Census. 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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