S1c Jess Laxton Hedger,

Unknown Sailor

S1c Jess Laxton Hedger,

Jess Laxton Hedger was born April 6, 1919 in Springfield, Illinois. His mother, Margaret Biederman, was a homemaker and his father, Charles Hedger, an engineer at a water works. Jess, or Jesse, was the youngest of their seven children.

Jess was 14 when his father died in August 1933.

A 1934 news article mentioned that he was a newsboy for the Daily Illinois State Journal and won an award that spring for his punctuality.

By the time of the spring 1940 Census, the young Mr. Hedger was a lodger at a home in Onarga, Illinois 90 miles south-southwest of Chicago. He had completed three years of high school and worked in 1939 as a music teacher, earning $150.

Mr. Hedger enlisted in the Navy on Oct. 8, 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.

At least one of his brothers, John, also served during World War II. He was in the Navy from November 1935 until January 1945.


Sources: Illinois State Journal of Springfield; The Deming (New Mexico) Headlight; Census; Navy muster roll; U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs death file; Illinois death index. 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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