COX Samuel William Haden,
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COX Samuel William Haden
Curtis Junior Haas was born March 26, 1919, the only child of Curtis Fair Haas, a salesman, and Mary Agnes Haas, a homemaker.
His parents soon divorced, and the father and son lived until at least 1930 with the boy’s grandparents in Kansas City, Missouri. His father remarried at about that time. The grandmother, Nettie, died in 1933; the grandfather, Charles, in 1936; and the father in 1937.
Soon after his dad’s death, Curtis Junior graduated from North Kansas City High School, where he developed into a top-notch flute player and singer. News articles recounted his awards in competitions, as well as his appearances with the traveling Royce Stoenner orchestra, which performed its “sophisticated swing music” around the Midwest.
Curtis Junior enlisted in the Navy in November 1940 and attended the U.S. Navy School of Music starting that winter. After graduation, he was assigned to the band of the U.S.S. Arizona. Mr. Haas played the flute, clarinet, and saxophone, and sang and arranged music. He also served as the band’s assistant director.
Mr. Haas was a musician and petty officer second class when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941. All 21 band members died after rushing to their battle station in the ammunition hold near black power magazines ignited by the fourth Japanese bomb to hit the ship.
Sources: the Sedalia (Missouri) Capital; the Kansas City Star; The Maryville (Missouri) Daily Forum; the St. Joseph (Missouri) News-Press Gazette; Census; Navy muster roll; grave markers; North Kansas City High School yearbook; “USS Arizona’s Last Band: The History of U.S. Navy Band Number 22,” by Molly Kent; U.S. Veterans Administration. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.