Leo DeVere Amundson enlisted in the Marines on July 16, 1941, shortly after his graduation from Central High School in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Less than five months later, he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Mr. Amundson was a private on the U.S.S. Arizona. He was 18.
The Central High yearbook said his hobby was working and that he enjoyed reading the stories of Edgar Allen Poe.
Mr. Amundson was born June 30, 1923, in Westby, Wisconsin to Alvin Amundson, a carpenter, and Olga Berg Amundson, a Norwegian immigrant and a waitress. His older brother, Clarence, served in the Army in World War II and survived.
1941 Central High School Yearbook, LaCrosse, WI:
A memorial service for Mr. Amundson was held in February 1942 at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in La Crosse. The local detachment of the Marine Corps League was named in his memory.
An earlier graduate of Central High also died on the Arizona on Dec. 7, 1941. Darrel Miller Hess, a fire controlman and petty officer first class, was seven years older than his shipmate.
The LaCrosse Tribune, February 1, 1942
Sources: The La Crosse (Wisconsin) Tribune; the La Crosse Tribune and Leader-Press; 1941 Central High yearbook; Census; grave marker; Marine muster roll; U.S. Evangelical Lutheran Church record. Marine photo. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona and Operation 85.