Robert Maurice Bridie was born Oct. 4, 1915, in Colfax, Iowa. His mother, Jennie McCarnin Bridie, was a homemaker, and his father, David Bridie, a masseur at the Anspach Sanitarium.
The father died in 1920, leaving his widow with three sons between about five and 15. The oldest, John, died in 1936 of streptococcus septicemia.
By the time of the spring 1940 Census, Robert and his mother were living a few minutes south in Washington township. It said Robert had completed high school and worked for 25 weeks in 1939 as a truck driver for a meat locker company, earning $275. His mother worked 50 weeks as a department store clerk and earned $624. Their combined income is equal to about $16,700 in 2020.
Robert Bridie enlisted in the Navy on Oct. 15, 1940, and was a fireman first class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
He was also survived by his widow, Thelma Barbour Bridie. The couple married on June 24, 1941, at Long Beach, California, while the Arizona was anchored nearby for two weeks. The battleship left on July 1 for Pearl Harbor and never again returned to the mainland.
Sources: Iowa and California marriage records; World War I draft registration card; Iowa gravemarkers; Census; Navy muster roll; Iowa application for World War II service compensation. Navy photo. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.