S1c Leander Cleaveland jr. King

Unknown Sailor

S1c Leander Cleaveland jr. King

Leander Cleveland King Jr. was born in Texas on November 20, 1921. His father was a mechanic and his mother, Bonnie Bates King, a homemaker.

The father died in April 1927 of injuries suffered in an accidental severe blow to his abdomen. Mrs. King was pregnant and had four children age seven and younger.

Tragedy struck the family again in 1937 when a 16-year-old daughter, Helen, died of tuberculosis.

Leander Jr. enlisted in the Navy on May 17, 1940. He 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.

For fun, Mr. King boxed on the Arizona team against sailors from other ships.

His youngest sibling, Wayne, served in the Navy from August 1944 through April 1948.


Sources: Texas birth and death certificates; Census; Navy muster roll; grave marker; U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs death file; At ‘Em Arizona newsletter of Nov. 9, 1940. The Department of Defense says Mr. King Jr. was born Nov. 10, 1918 birth certificates for his twin sisters Eva and Nina Faye say they were born May 21, 1919. The 1930 Census, conducted on April 30, says the twins were 10 — consistent with their birth certificates. That same 1930 Census says Leander Jr. was 8, consistent with a birth year of 1921. 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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