Russell Edwin Deritis was born Oct. 2, 1920, in Tacoma, Washington. His mother, Edna Holm Deritis, was a homemaker, and his father, Aldon Deritis, was a mariner. The father served in the Navy from about 1910 until 1919 and then in the Merchant Marines, where he rose to the rank of captain.
Son Russell graduated from Lincoln High in Tacoma in 1939. The yearbook said is hobby was dancing and that he planned to attend college,
He enlisted in the Navy on April 10, 1940, and was a seaman first class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.
His brother Don, born in 1935, served 28 years in the Air Force.
Sources: U.S. Veterans Administration; Navy muster roll; Census; Lincoln High yearbook; application for seaman’s certificate of American citizenship; grave marker; Ladusau-Evans Funeral home obituary. Yearbook photo. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.