CMSMTHP Richard Preston Molpus

Unknown Sailor

CMSMTHP Richard Preston Molpus

Richard Preston Molpus was born Aug. 14, 1902 in Mississippi. His mother, Mattie Walker Molpus, was a homemaker who died in October 1918. His father, Lewis Molpus, was a farmer.

In 1910 the family was living in Lauderdale County near Meridian in east-central Mississippi. Young Mr. Molpus left Meridian by the fall of 1919 to enlist in the Navy. He was a metalsmith and chief petty officer on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

He married Bertha Weisenborn Molpus in September 1933 in Yuma, Arizona where there was no waiting period as in California. By the time of his death, their family included a daughter, 12, and a son, 6. The son, William Richard, went on to serve in the Merchant Marine.


Sources: The Wilmington (California) Press Journal; the News-Pilot of San Pedro, California; the Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi; Census; Arizona marriage license; grave markers; Defense Department. 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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