SC3c Richard Fitch Ingalls,

Unknown Sailor

SC3c Richard Fitch Ingalls

Brothers Richard Fitch Ingalls and Theodore A. Ingalls were cooks on the U.S.S. Arizona. Their plan was to serve 25 years in the Navy and then open a restaurant.

Theodore, the younger of the two, quit high school in Clinton, New York near Utica after his junior year and joined the Navy three days after his 18th birthday in 1939.

Richard graduated from Clinton High in 1938. The 1940 Census, conducted in the spring, said he was a tabulator at a knitting mill. He joined the Navy that September.

They wanted to be together, so the Navy granted Richard’s request to join Theodore on the Arizona. Both were killed on Dec. 7, 1941, in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Theodore’s 20th birthday was Dec. 7. They had celebrated it the night before.

Richard was born Oct. 2, 1918 in Ilion, New York 15 miles east of Clinton, the son of Raymond Fitch Ingalls and Verna Wood Ingalls. Theodore was born in Worcester, Massachusetts. Their father worked a variety of jobs over the years — selling autos, managing a grocery, and regrooving tires. Their mother was a homemaker.

The brothers held the rating of ship’s cook third class, so both were entry-level petty officers – non-commissioned officers.

The Helmuth-Ingalls American Legion Post 232 in Franklin Springs, New York, is named, in part, in their honor.

Theodore Ingalls was awarded a high school diploma from the Clinton Central School District in a ceremony on Memorial Day 2018.


Sources: Special thanks to Kenneth Shilkret, adjutant/treasurer in 2018 of the Helmuth-Ingalls American Legion Post 232; Clinton Historical Society; Census; Navy muster roll; Massachusetts birth index; the Utica (New York) Observer Dispatch; the Daily Sentinel of Rome, New York. 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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