S1c Rex Eugene O’neall
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S1c Rex Eugene O'neall
Rex Eugene O’Neall was born May 22, 1922 in the southeast Nebraska town of Seward to the west of Lincoln. His father, Chester O’Neall, was a farmer, and his mother, Alma Mercer O’Neall, a homemaker.
By 1930 the family, which then included six children, lived in the small Colorado town of Sheridan about 8 miles south of Denver.
The parents divorced by April 1935 and the mother had married a railroad machinist in Denver. The six children were still with her, plus one of her new husband’s adult children. The 1940 Census said Rex had completed one year of high school but was no longer enrolled. He worked 52 weeks in 1939 as a farmhand and earned $600. A different record indicates he also served in the Civilian Conservation Corps, a Depression-era jobs program for young men.
Mr. O’Neall enlisted in the Navy on Oct. 25, 1940, and went aboard the U.S.S. Arizona on Dec. 30. He was a seaman first class when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.
At least one brother, Clee, served in the Army during World War II and survived.
Sources: Census; Navy muster roll; Colorado state archive; grave marker. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.