S1c Raymond Clifford Tennell

Unknown Sailor

S1c Raymond Clifford Tennell

Raymond Clifford Tennell got to wear his Plano High School letter jacket only once or twice before enlisting in the Navy.

He earned the jacket playing football at Plano, where he graduated in 1939. The town still had less than 1,600 residents and was 20 miles north of Dallas.

Raymond was born Sept. 18, 1922 in Plano to Henry Stith Tennell, owner of a livestock farm, and Tiley Davidson Tennell, a homemaker. By April 1940 the father was a milk truck driver but the family remembers him as the town marshall with a real estate business as well as the livestock. In 1939 he worked for 22 weeks, earning $550 – the equivalent of more than $10,000 in 2022 dollars.

The Tennells raised three sons and a daughter. Raymond was the third child.

Mr. Tennell entered the Navy on Nov. 13, 1940, and was a seaman first class when he was killed on the U.S.S. Arizona in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

He was honored at a memorial service in February 1942 at the First Baptist Church in Plano. A granite cenotaph is at Restland Memorial Park, Dallas


Sources: The Courier-Gazette of McKinney, Texas; the Dallas Morning News; Census; grave marker; Texas birth index.  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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