Robert Joseph Dineen loved to play football and would head to a city park in Hornell in south central New York state on Saturday mornings to join a pickup game of tackle football.
“He had a heart and personality that just spilled out all over,” his football buddy Charles Giallanza recalled many years later.
Mr. Dineen was born in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 3, 1918, the son of John Joseph Dineen and Loretta A. Kane Dineen. His mother died in September 1926 just before he was eight. His father was a lineman for a railroad.
The son lived in Susquehanna till about 1932, then moved to live with an aunt in Hornell. He completed the 8th grade, then worked at the Erie Freight House in Hornell, and served in Company K of the 108th Infantry of the New York National Guard from October 1937 to September 1938. He enlisted in the Navy on April 24, 1940 and was a seaman first class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
A brother served in the Army during the war and survived.
Sources: the Evening Tribune of Hornell, N.Y.; Census; Navy muster rolls; grave markers; New York National Guard service card; U.S. Headstone application for military veterans. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.