SC2c Mearl James Wagner

Unknown Sailor

SC2c Mearl James Wagner

Mearl James Wagner was born Aug. 22, 1910 in Collinsville, Illinois 12 miles east of St. Louis to William Wagner, a farmer, and Elizabeth Wagner, a homemaker.

By 1920 the family had moved about 10 miles east to Saint Jacob, population 451. When he was 17 and after completing the 8th grade, the son reportedly enrolled in the Navy.

In 1931 he married Georgia Harriet Murphy in Los Angeles. They had a daughter and three sons and by 1935 were living in Los Angeles.

When the spring 1940 Census was conducted, Mr. Wagner was identified as a cook at a cafe in Compton, a Los Angeles suburb. But that date was before his July 12 re-enlistment.

He was a ship’s cook and petty officer second class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.


Sources: Troy (Illinois) Call; Orange County (California) Register; the St. Louis (Missouri) Post-Dispatch; California marriage record; Census; Navy muster roll. 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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