S2c Norman Kenneth Iversen

Norman Iversen

S2c Norman Kenneth Iversen

Norman Kenneth Iversen was born Dec. 4, 1923. Graves School in Salinas, California, celebrated the end of school in June 1936 with a Flag Day program.

Earl Iversen, Norman’s older brother and one of three eighth-grade graduates, read his essay, “The Story of the Flag.”  Norman, recited a poem, “To Thee O Country.”

Newspaper clipping


Earl moved on to high school, but it appears that he left after two years. When the Census was conducted in May 1940, he was identified as a farmer on a ranch, as was his father, Iver. Earl declared that he worked 52 weeks in 1939 and earned $420. Norman was still a student that spring, most likely a junior.

The brothers left the Monterey Peninsula for good on Jan. 30, 1941, when they enlisted in the Navy. They were seamen second class on the U.S.S. Arizona when they were killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

Nearly 20 years after their deaths, their mother, Erma, a homemaker, had cenotaphs erected at Golden Gate National Cemetery at San Bruno. 

Earl Henry Iversen was born April 21, 1920.  They lived at Point Arena and later at Salinas.

The local newspaper said Norman attended Salinas Union High, where his age would have put him in the same class as Erminio Joseph Brignole, who also died on the Arizona. Brignole enlisted in June 1941, right after graduation. The senior class was small enough — just over 300 — that Brignole and Norman Iversen surely knew each other.

Sources: the Press Democrat of Santa Rosa, California; the Healdsburg (California) Tribune, Enterprise & Scimitar; the Mendocino (California) Beacon; the San Francisco Examiner; the Californian and Morning Post of Salinas, California; Census; Navy muster roll; cenotaphs. 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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