F3c John Morgan Turnipseed

Unknown Sailor

F3c John Morgan Turnipseed

John Morgan Turnipseed Jr. was born Nov. 5, 1921 in Arkansas. His mother, Marie West Turnipseed, was a homemaker and his father a truck driver for Texas Oil Co. The father died of tertiary syphilis in Pine Bluff, Arkansas on May 27, 1929 when the son was still seven. The family also included a younger daughter, Doris, born in 1925 in Pine Bluff.

The April 1930 Census said John lived with his paternal grandparents in Little Rock while his mother worked in North Little Rock as a laundress.

By April 1935 John was back with his mother, who had remarried. They lived at Sweet Home, Arkansas south of Little Rock through at least April 1940. John and his step-father, William Hill, worked 13 weeks in 1939 and earned $130 each — John as a timber hand and William as a carpenter on a highway project. Their meager pay indicates they were probably employed by one of the Depression-era federal jobs programs. The 2022 equivalent to $260 for a family of four would be about $5,000.

Mr. Turnipseed enlisted in the Navy on Aug. 2, 1940. He was a fireman third class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.


Sources: Census; Navy muster roll; Arkansas death certificate; sister’s obituary. 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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