GM2c Robert Rudolph Kramer

Unknown Sailor

GM2c Robert Rudolph Kramer

At the same time their older son was in Indianapolis enlisting in the Navy in June 1942, Rudolph and Frances Kramer received a package containing an oil-soaked $10 bill, the high school graduation ring, and other belongings of their dead son, Robert Rudolph Kramer.

Robert Rudolph was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941. He was a gunner’s mate and petty officer second class on the U.S.S. Arizona.

Robert Rudolph was born June 27, 1920 at New Point in southeast Indiana. He graduated from New Point High School in 1938 and enlisted on June 3 of that year. Like so many other young men who enlisted, he no doubt needed a job during those Depression years. His father, a timekeeper for a railroad, reported in the spring 1940 Census that he’d been unemployed the previous 26 weeks. His mother was a homemaker.

The American Legion in Greensburg, Indiana 8 miles west of New Point changed its name in 1943 to Welsh-Crawley-Kramer Post 129. The name honored the first Decatur County man killed in World War I and the first two to die in World War II. Wallace Dewitt Crawley was also on the battleship Arizona.

Mr. Kramer is buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at the Punchbowl in Honolulu.

His brother, William, served in the Navy until May 1945.


Sources: Greensburg Daily News; Seymour (Indiana) Daily Tribune; Census; Indiana birth certificate, Navy muster rolls; U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs death file. 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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