HA1c Lester John Hoelscher,

Unknown Sailor

HA1c Lester John Hoelscher

Lester John Hoelscher was a Nebraska farm boy until he enlisted in the Navy on Dec. 17, 1940.

He was a hospital apprentice first class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

Mr. Hoelscher was born July 10, 1922 near Madison in northeast Nebraska to Frank Hoelscher and Mary Cook Hoelscher. 

He attended the Liberty Consolidated schools and graduated in 1939. The local newspaper described him as an outstanding high school baseball player and said he also played for the American Legion junior club.

He wrote a last letter home on Dec. 5, 1941, and his family held out hope as the new year arrived that he had survived. A telegram arrived in mid-January 1942 notifying them that he was missing. An American Legion member delivered it to the farm.

VFW Post 5763 in Madison was named in memory of Mr. Hoelscher and another local man killed in World War II.

Sources: The Madison (Nebraska) Star-Mail; “125 Years of Memories, 1867-1992, Madison, Nebraska”; Census; Navy muster roll; U.S. Department of Defense. Navy 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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