Richard Connelly was born June 25, 1906 in Reading, Pennsylvania. His father, Ralph R. Connelly, was a railroad worker and his mother Martha O. Weidman Connelly, a homemaker. She died of “nervous prostration” when the boy was 10.
The father and his four sons moved to the father’s hometown, Manheim, Pennsylvania, and Richard attended school there, ending after the 8th grade.
He enlisted in the Navy in 1922. Mr. Connelly was a quartermaster and chief petty officer on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
He was survived by his widow, Geraldine Phinney Connelly. They married in 1931. Both their marriage record and Navy records say Mr. Connelly’s middle name was Earl. His birth certificate says it was William.
A brother, Samuel, was a Navy radioman from 1920 to 1930. Two half brothers, Thomas and Russell, served in the Navy during World War II.
Sources: the Intelligencer Journal of Lancaster, Pennsylvania; The Daily News of Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania birth and death certificates; Navy muster roll; Census; application for military headstone. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.