BUG1c Robert Gleason Runckel

Unknown Sailor

BUG1c Robert Gleason Runckel

Robert Gleason Runckel was born March 14, 1916 in McCloud, California, a lumber company town of less than 1,000 on the southern slope of Mount Shasta.

His parents, Elizabeth Gleason Runckel, a homemaker, and George Runckel, a doctor, were native Californians.

Robert, known as Bob, was the second of four sons. He graduated in 1934 from McCloud High School. The yearbook said he performed in the senior play, “Mama’s Baby Boy,” and had an affection for red clothes. He also played baseball and ran track.

For two years he attended Menlo College in Atherton, California north of San Jose, but by the time of the spring 1940 Census he was a laborer for the McCloud River Lumber Co. His father had both a private practice and worked for the lumber company.

Young Mr. Runckel enlisted in the Navy on Halloween 1940. He was a bugler and petty officer first class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

His brother John served in the Army during World War II.

Sources: Special thanks to Mr. Runckel’s great-niece, Tracye Dethero for much of this information and for the photograph. Other sources include the Mount Shasta Herald; Census; Navy muster roll; McCloud High School yearbook; WWII military registration cards. 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