John Buchanan Dial was born Feb. 4, 1921 in Mississippi to Christopher Columbus Dial, a farmer and later a lumber company worker, and Rachel Butler Dial, a homemaker.
The 1940 Census showed the family living in Hattiesburg. It said John had finished 8th grade and worked as a laborer at a National Youth Administration shop. The NYA was a Depression-era federal jobs and training program.
He enlisted in the Navy on Aug. 9, 1940, and 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.
Two of his brothers served in the Army and survived the war.
Sources: the Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi; the Hattiesburg (Mississippi) American; Census; Navy muster roll; grave markers. Clarion-Ledger photograph. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.