S2c Richard Gunner Grundstorm,
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S2c Richard Gunner Grundstorm
After 18-year-old Richard Gunner Grundstrom was killed at Pearl Harbor, his father also enlisted in the Navy.
The son was a seaman second class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he died on Dec. 7, 1941.
His father, Gunner Chris Grundstrom, was 44 when he enlisted the next February. He joined, he said, to take his son’s place and to whip the Japanese. He rose to the rank of chief shipfitter and served until May 1945.
The son was born Sept. 3, 1923 in Los Angeles. His father worked as a laborer and later as a foreman for Southern California Gas Co. His mother, Thelma Sachs Grundstrom, was a homemaker. Richard enlisted in the Navy on Jan. 23, 1941.
Richard’s body was not recovered and remains on the sunken battleship. Gunner lived until 1982 and is buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona in Phoenix.
Sources: The Los Angeles Times; California birth record; Census; grave marker; U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs death file; Navy muster roll. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.