ENS William Ignatius Halloran

William I. Halloran

ENS William Ignatius Halloran

William Ignatius Halloran died on his mother’s birthday, Dec. 7. She never celebrated it again.

He was born in Cleveland on July 23, 1915 to Lawrence Halloran, a postal worker, and Stella McGuire Halloran, a homemaker. He graduated in 1933 from Cathedral Latin School, where he was editor of the newspaper. He attended John Carroll University, then transferred to Ohio State University, where he earned a degree in journalism in 1938. He worked for the United Press International news service in Columbus before moving to Cleveland.

Mr. Halloran obtained leave in September 1940 to join the Navy. He studied at the Naval Reserve Midshipman’s School at Northwestern University and earned a commission as an ensign in June 1941. By July, he was on the U.S.S. Arizona.

When he enlisted, he wrote a letter of explanation to his boss at the news service. “I don’t believe in war as a means of settling international differences. It’s not so much the horror of it but the fact that it’s impractical, crazy and un-Christian. I no more believe that nations should settle their differences by war than I do that individuals should settle their disputes in back-alley brawls. I wish we could get along without such a tremendous armament program and devote the money to improving our civilization. But when there are wolves and brigands about, it is not well to be unarmed. So let us arm and learn how to use these arms. That is where I, and thousands — even millions — of other young Americans, should fit into the picture. We who have benefitted should be ready to sacrifice.”

Mr. Halloran was killed on Dec. 7, 1941 in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

More than 1,000 packed a memorial service dedicated to him at St. Ignatius Church, and a Cleveland park was named for him in 1945. Halloran House, a residence at Ohio State, is named for him.

A destroyer escort, the U.S.S. Halloran, was launched in January 1944. His youngest brother, Larry, served on the ship in the Pacific until the end of the war.

Sources: J.C. Sullivan for the Knights of Columbus, 2016; The Sandusky Register; Case Western Reserve University Encyclopedia of Cleveland History; Census; the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Navy 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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