Machinist’s mate and chief petty officer Richard Borger was an experienced sailor by the time he was killed on the U.S.S. Arizona in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.
Born on June 10, 1903, in Chicago, he enlisted in the Navy when he was about 20. He planned to retire after 20 years of service in 1943.
Records of his early life are sparse, but they show that 1907 was a year of great grief for the family. A year-old sister died in February, the mother — Grace Bass Borger — in June, and a seven-month-old brother in August. The mother was 24 when she died. It appears that Richard went to live with aunts and uncles. His father, Henry Borger, was listed as a widower and living as a lodger in Chicago in 1910.
Richard Borger married Evelyn Crooker in Los Angeles on June 7, 1930. They had a son and a daughter, who were 11 and 6 at the time of their father’s death.