SM3c Lonnie Moss Hartson,

Unknown Sailor

SM3c Lonnie Moss Hartson

Lonnie Moss Hartson enlisted in the Navy in June 1940, just after the school year ended at Forest Avenue High in Dallas, Texas.

He was 17, and thus needed permission from his father, Hugh, to sign up.

Mr. Hartson was sent to Chicago to train at the signalman school, then joined the crew of the U.S.S. Arizona in Hawaii in July 1941.

He was a signalman and petty officer third class when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

Mr. Hartson was born Feb. 1, 1923 to Hugh Hartson, a police fingerprint specialist, and Velma Moss Hartson, a homemaker. The parents divorced when Lonnie was young. Both the 1930 and 1940 Census showed the boy living with his maternal grandparents.

The Dallas Morning News reported that Hugh Hartson had wanted to enlist in the Navy when he was 17 — during World War I — but his parents refused him permission.

Sources: The Dallas Morning News; Texas birth certificate; grave marker; Census; Navy muster rolls; 1939 Forest High School yearbook. 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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