Unknown Sailor

F3c Kenneth Gay Brakke

Kenneth Gay Brakke was born Dec. 4, 1920 in Seattle, Washington. His father, Andrew Brakke, was a streetcar conductor, and his mother, Inga Kjerstad, a homemaker. She immigrated from Norway.

Kenneth graduated from Lincoln High in Seattle in 1940. The yearbook said his nickname was “Knute” and that his ambition was to become an “A-1 machinist.”

He enlisted in the Navy on Nov. 5, 1940, and was a fireman third class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

His brother, Arnold, enlisted in the Navy after graduating from high school in 1944. He also served in the Air Force during the Korean War.

Sources: The Seattle Times; Lutheran Church in America baptismal record; Census; Navy muster rolls; Lincoln High yearbook. Yearbook photo. 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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