S1c Vernon Joseph Schmidt


S1c Vernon Joseph Schmidt

Vernon Joseph Schmidt was born Nov. 16, 1921 in Minnesota. His mother, Melita Sporhase Schmidt, was a homemaker and his father, Joseph A. Schmidt, a manufacturing foreman and later a bookbinder. Vernon was the oldest of their four children.

By 1924 the family was in Robbinsdale on northwest of Minneapolis. By April 1935 they had moved southeast of downtown Minneapolis. Vernon graduated in 1940 from Roosevelt High School, where he was in the orchestra and marching band. He enlisted in the Navy on Oct. 8, 1940. 

He 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 memorial service paid tribute to him  in February 1942 at St. Helena’s Catholic Church in Minneapolis. 

There is a cenotaph for him at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis. His father, who is buried there, was an Army private in World War I. A sister, Joan Ellen Schmidt, trained in the cadet nurse corps at the University of Minnesota.

Sources: The Minneapolis (Minnesota) Star; application for military headstone or marker; Census; Navy muster roll; grave markers. Newspaper photograph. 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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