Y2c Karl Anthony Giesen,

Unknown Sailor

Y2c Karl Anthony Giesen

The family of Karl Anthony Giesen worried about his fate for days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

He was a yeoman and petty officer second class on the U.S.S. Arizona on Dec. 7, 1941, and relatives back in Iowa had heard the news that the battleship was bombed and sank.

Letters, cards, and even Christmas gifts from Mr. Giesen arrived in Calmar, a town of about 1,000 in northeast Iowa. But all were dated and shipped before Dec. 7.

At last, on Christmas Day, a telegram officially announced his death.

Mr. Giesen, 24, was survived by a three-year-old daughter. He was divorced.

He was born Sept. 3, 1917 to Henry Joseph Giesen, an insurance agent, and Nellie Bernatz Giesen, a homemaker. Henry died when his son was 13.

Karl graduated in 1937 from Calmar High and enlisted in the Navy in March 1938.

American Legion Post 266 in Calmar is named, in part, in honor of Mr. Giesen.


Sources: Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Gazette; The Mason City (Iowa) Globe-Gazette; marriage record; Census; Navy muster roll; Iowa WWII bonus case files for beneficiaries application. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.

NOTE: If you are a family member related to this crew member of the U.S.S. Arizona, or have additional information, pictures or documents to share about his life or service to our county please contact us through our FAMILY MEMBER SUBMISSION FORM