S1c Paul Zepp Hollenbach,

Unknown Sailor

S1c Paul Zepp Hollenbach

Paul Zepp Hollenbach was born Oct. 17, 1919 at Hatfield, Pennsylvania about 30 miles north of Philadelphia.

His father, Paul R. Hollenbach, was a moulder at an iron foundry and his mother, Elsie Zepp Hollenbach, was a homemaker.

The couple lost triplet sons, born five months prematurely, in 1921. Tragedy hit again in 1924 when the father died of cancer less than two weeks before Paul’s 5th birthday.

His mother remarried in 1926 to Fred Wonnberger of Queens, New York. The family moved there some time after the 1930 Census.

Paul graduated in 1936 from Jamaica High School, where he was a member of the chess club. The yearbook described him as “Always so studious, So never very dubious.”

The 1940 Census said Mr. Hollenbach was a clerk at a textile mill and earned $832 the previous year for 52 weeks of work. That’s equal to about $15,000 in 2020.

He enlisted in the Navy on Dec. 3, 1940, and was a seaman first class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

Memorial services were held at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Queens and at Grace Lutheran Church in Hatfield.

His older brothers, Frank and Robert, served in the Army during the war.


Sources: The Brooklyn (New York) Daily Eagle; the Lowell (Massachusetts) Sun; Jamaica HIgh yearbook; Grace Lutheran Church records;  Pennsylvania death certificates; grave markers; Census; Navy muster rolls; US Department of Veterans Affairs death file.; U.S. Department of Defense. Yearbook photograph. 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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