PFC Joseph Bernard O’brien

Unknown Sailor

PFC Joseph Bernard O'brien

Joseph Bernard O’Brien was born April 16, 1921 in Cook County, Illinois. His mother, Effie Wise O’Brien, was a homemaker and his father, Patrick H. O’Brien, a teamster.

Joseph’s father died in 1925.

By the time of the 1930 Census his mother was the head of a household of three children ages eight to 25 plus a daughter-in-law. She was a saleslady at a retail store, while her oldest son, William, and his wife worked at a telephone company and a brass foundry, respectively, in Chicago.

They were all still together in the spring of 1940, though by then William was identified as head of the household, which also included a niece. Joseph had completed three years of high school and was still enrolled.

It seems likely that he graduated that May or June. He enlisted in the Marines on July 17, 1940.

Mr. O’Brien was a private first class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.


Sources: Census; Marine muster roll; U.S. Veterans Administration; Cook County, Illinois birth and death index; U.S. Veterans Administration. Marine photograph. 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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