PHM1c Silas Alonzo Wainwright

Unknown Sailor

PHM1c Silas Alonzo Wainwright

Silas Alonzo Wainwright was born June 22, 1915 in Macomb, population about 1,100 in northern New York. His father, Weldon Wainwright, was a farmer and his mother, Rachel Ingram Wainwright, was a homemaker. He was one of 10 children.

Macomb in St. Lawrence County covers 63 square miles and includes 14 small settlements in what other states would call a township.

By 1920 the family had moved about 10 miles northwest to 59-square-mile Morristown, population 1,719 near the St. Lawrence River. The father was a dairy farmer.

In September 1928 the son enrolled at Dean (today Gouverneur) High School in Gouverneur southeast of Macomb. He played football and participated in many activities, including the French club. He also had perfect attendance in 1932 and graduated that year.

Silas worked with his father near Pierces Corner before enlisting in the Navy in October 1935 in Albany. Four years later he re-enlisted, and in January 1941 was transferred to the U.S.S. Arizona. Mr. Wainwright was a pharmacist’s mate and petty officer first class on the Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

He was lauded at a service at the high school in January 1942. The local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6338 is named in his honor. His name is inscribed on his parents’ grave marker at Pleasant Lake Cemetery in nearby Brasie Corners, New York.

At least one of his brothers, Robert, served in the Navy from 1943 to 1945.


Sources: the Ogdensburg (New York) Journal; the Gouverneur (New York) Tribune Press; the Watertown (New York) Times; Navy muster rolls; Census; cenotaph and grave marker. 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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