SF3c Richard Jr. Patterson

Unknown Sailor

SF3c Richard Jr. Patterson

Nearly 80 years after his death, Richard Patterson Jr.’s alma mater, Berlin High School in Berlin, Connecticut 10 miles south of Hartford, still gives an annual award in his name to one of its athletes.

In his senior year, Mr. Patterson was the captain of the football team and the intramural basketball and baseball teams. He also played varsity baseball and was on the student council. 

After graduating in 1939, he worked at the nearby New Britain Welding Co. until he enlisted in the Navy on Oct. 15, 1940. He was a shipfitter and petty officer third class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

Mr. Patterson was born Feb. 15, 1920 in Newburyport, Massachusetts 35 miles north of Boston. His father, Richard Sr., was a shoemaker and his mother, Pauline C. Patterson, a homemaker.

The elder Mr. Patterson, a World War I veteran, set the cornerstone for a war memorial in Berlin. The American Legion post in Berlin is named, in part, in memory of Richard Patterson Jr.


Sources: The Hartford (Connecticut) Courant, Berlin High School yearbook, US Census, Berlin High School Athletic Hall of Fame; Massachusetts birth certificate. ​​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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