Students from Bone Gap Community High School held a going-away party for Roy Eugene Boggess before he left for the Navy in October 1937.
Mr. Boggess and 14 classmates had graduated that spring from the school in southeast Illinois. He was on the basketball and track teams and in the cast of a play, “Headstrong Joan.”
He had advanced to shipfitter and petty officer second class on the U.S.S. Arizona by the time he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.
He was survived by his widow, Naomi, and a young daughter. The couple married in March 1940 in Yuma, Arizona — a popular place for U.S.S. Arizona men to tie the knot while on short visits to the ship’s home port at San Pedro, California. Unlike that state, Arizona had no waiting period to marry.
Mr. Boggess was also survived by his parents, Thomas Boggess, a farmer, and Roxaline Richards Boggess, a homemaker. The son was born Sept. 3, 1919, at Ridge Farm, Illinois. During his high school years, the family lived in Lick Prairie, population 421.
Sources: the Kokomo (Indiana) Tribune; the Daily Republican-Register of Mount Carmel, Illinois; Arizona marriage license; Navy muster roll; Census; WWI draft registration; Veterans Administration. Naval History and Heritage Command photo. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.