PVT Paul Edward Herrick,

Unknown Sailor

PVT Paul Edward Herrick

Fifty years after Paul Edward Herrick was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, his only sibling, Jane, told a newspaper reporter she couldn’t bear to speak about him in detail.

Nor, she said, had she visited the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial in Hawaii because it would be too hard to see the sunken battleship containing her brother’s remains.

Their mother, Ruth Lynch Herrick, had the same feelings. She was the guest of honor on Dec. 7, 1944 — the third anniversary of her son’s death — at the installation ceremony for the newly formed Paul Herrick Post 429 of the American Legion in Kenosha, Wisconsin. She declined all subsequent invitations, said a friend and neighbor, Evelyn Konrad.

Paul Edward Herrick was born June 3, 1922 in Kenosha. His father, Paul Howden Herrick, was a salesman and his mother a homemaker. They eventually separated.

The son graduated in June 1940 from Kenosha High School, where he was active in many activities, including the track and football teams, drama, and choir. He worked while in school, earning $150 in 13 weeks in 1939 as a grocery store salesman.

He was a Boy Scout, too, once burning a loaf of bread he and a buddy, Bill Werner, made while trying to earn a merit badge in cooking. Mr. Herrick, a member of the American Legion Boy Scout Troop 21, was serious about Scouting. He earned his last two badges and attained the rank of Eagle Scout after he joined the Marines in August 1940. He was a private.

Mr. Herrick was honored at a requiem Mass celebrated in February 1942 at the chapel of St. Mary of the Angels on the campus of the College of Santa Teresa in Winona, Minnesota. His sister was an alumna.

Sources: An article by Dave Backmann of the Kenosha Sunday News is the primary source for this profile. Other sources include the Kenosha (Wisconsin) Evening News; the Racine (Wisconsin) Times; the Winona (Minnesota) Republican-Herald; the Veterans Administration; Census; Marine muster roll. Note: American Legion Post 429 later merged with Post 21, though it continues to be named in Herrick’s honor. 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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