Y2c Roscoe Gholston,

Unknown Sailor

Y2c Roscoe Gholston

Roscoe Gholston wrote “I love you,” in Spanish at the bottom of his last letter home to his high school best friend, B.R. Mitchell.

It wasn’t at all his usual sign-off, Mr. Mitchell remembered years later in a book he co-authored with his wife about World War II.

Mr. Gholston was a yeoman and petty officer second class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

On that day, Mr. Mitchell was in Texas, training to repair engines in the Army Air Corps. He went on to become a combat pilot. His first thought, he said, when he heard about the bombing and sinking of the Arizona was that Gholston would have found a way to save himself.

The two graduated from Goodnight High School east of Amarillo  in 1938, where Gholston was an athlete. He enlisted in the Navy in June 1939.

He was born Sept. 9, 1920 in Van Zandt County east of Dallas to Lemuel Gholston, a farmer, and Beulah Cameron Gholston, a homemaker. His father died in early 1941.


Sources: NewsOK; Pampa (Texas) Daily News; Claude (Texas) News; “A Collection of Memories: A History of Armstrong County, 1876-1965”; Census; Navy muster rolls. 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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