S1c Richard Walter Weaver

Unknown Sailor

S1c Richard Walter Weaver

Richard Walter Weaver was 17 in November 1940 when his parents gave him permission to leave Fallon, Nevada 60 miles east of Reno to join the Navy.

Years later his father, Ray, learned that Richard had gotten into an argument with a teacher and was thrown out of school. That’s when he decided to enlist.

His son would “about as soon fight as eat, if he wasn’t too hungry,” his father, a World War I Army veteran, recalled of Richard’s temperament.

He was a seaman first class when he was killed on the U.S.S. Arizona in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

He was born Aug. 16, 1923 to Ray Rhesa Weaver, an assistant postmaster, and Marguerite Lois McCuistion Weaver, a homemaker. He was the second oldest of five sons.

Richard had been sweet on a Fallon girl, Wanda Temple, and they traded letters after he joined the Navy. As fate would have it, her family moved to Honolulu for her father’s work in October 1941. They dated and Mr. Weaver and Navy buddies began having Sunday dinner at the Temple home.

He was “a handsome boy-doll, in sailor suit,” Wanda told the Reno Gazette Journal 54 years later. “I’ve never adored anyone as much.”

Wanda Temple married after the war ended. She named her only child Richard.


Sources: Special thanks to relative David Benson for the photograph. Other sources: the Reno Gazette-Journal; Census; grave marker; Navy muster roll. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.

NOTE: If you are a family member related to this crew member of the U.S.S. Arizona, or have additional information, pictures or documents to share about his life or service to our county please contact us through our FAMILY MEMBER SUBMISSION FORM