MUS2c Neal Jason Radford

Unknown Sailor

MUS2c Neal Jason Radford

Neal Jason Radford played baritone horn and the tuba in the U.S.S. Arizona band. All 21 members were killed on Dec. 7, 1941 in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He was a musician and petty officer second class.

Born Feb. 16, 1915, Mr. Radford was from Newark, Nebraska, a township inside Kearney County, which had a 1940 population of less than 7,000. The township was 120 miles west of Lincoln.

After graduating from Kearney High School he worked on the family farm along with several siblings until enlisting in October 1940. His father, Boyd, was also a farmer and raised Hereford cattle. His mother, Edna, was a homemaker. The family was known for owning two round barns.

It isn’t clear why, but bandmates nicknamed him “Brick.”

Kearney High students planted three hackberry trees and installed plaques on the school grounds in 1942 in memory of Mr. Radford and two other local men killed in the opening days of the war. One of them, Warren Allen Jones, was also on the Arizona.


Sources: The Lincoln (Nebraska) Star; Kearney (Nebraska) Hub; Census; Navy muster roll; “At ‘Em Arizona,” the ship’s newspaper. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.

NOTE: If you are a family member related to this crew member of the U.S.S. Arizona, or have additional information, pictures or documents to share about his life or service to our county please contact us through our FAMILY MEMBER SUBMISSION FORM