Theron Andrew Blankenship was born March 20, 1922 in Morgan County in north-central Alabama.
His father, William Matthew Blankenship, was a farmer and his mother, Leona Chaney Blankenship, a homemaker. The family included 11 children.
The spring 1940 Census identified Theron as a student who had completed one year of high school. He enlisted in the Navy on Oct. 5.
Mr. Blankenship 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.
A cenotaph in his memory at the New Center Baptist Church Cemetery in Hartselle, Alabama, spells his first name as Thearn, though all Navy records spell it as Theron.
An older brother, William, enlisted in the Army in March 1944 and was a private in the 60th Infantry when he was killed in Belgium that Oct. 20. His body was returned to the United State in 1947 and buried at the New Center Baptist Church Cemetery.
A younger brother, James Paul, served in the Army in the Korean war.