Friday, November 8, 2013

HE DIED ON DECEMBER 7, 1941 - Sherman Levine

With Veteran's Day just around the corner, I decided to tell the story of another person who gave their life fighting for our Country.  This week we will feature a weatherman for the US Army Air Force who was was killed on December 7, 1941 in the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor: Sherman Levine.

A recent Find a Grave photo request took me on a sunny summer afternoon to Westlawn Cemetery in Norridge, Illinois.  I knew that I was looking for a military gravestone, but it wasn't until I actually found the gravestone for Sherman Levine that I realized that his date of death was December 7, 1941.

After I filled the photo request I received a thank-you from the requestor, who told me he was researching all the Air Force weathermen who have died in service to our country.  He has over 120 Airmen in his records as having died and another 150 weather reconnaissance personnel who have perished since WW II. He's putting all this information in the Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA) archives at Offutt AFB, NE. One of the 270 people featured in their database is Sherman Levine.

Let's see what we can find out about Sherman Levine before Pearl Harbor Day.  Sherman Levine was born June 29, 1923 in Chicago to Harry Levin (1881-1942) and Esther, nee Burnstein (1882-1958).   It appears that the family name was originally spelled "Levine" although in later years it tended to be spelled "Levin". Sherman was "The Baby" of the family, joining Isadore (1904-????), Morris (1904-1966), Blanche (1906-1979), Meyer (1908-1991), Hannah (1910-1936), Ruth (1911-????), Sidney 1914-1980), Louis (1915-1916), Helen (b. 1917), and George Norman (1921-1995).

The 1930 Census shows the Levin family (as they now called themselves), living at 1221 N. Hoyne Avenue (near Western & Division).

1221 N. Hoyne, Chicago

Harry listed his occupation as "Salesman for a Commercial Manufacturing firm". Isadore, Blanche and Hannah were not living with the family.  Morris was a dentist, Meyer was an accountant, Ruth was a stenographer, Sidney was a clerk, and Louis, Helen, George and Sherman were all in school.

Sherman went to Von Steuben High School:

He was on the swimming team at Von Steuben.  Here's a photo from the yearbook:

and here's his homeroom photo:

Sherman is in the upper left corner of both.  He looks like a typical happy teenager of the 1930s.

The 1940 Census shows that the Levin family had moved to 4910 Monticello Avenue in Chicago.

4910 N. Monticello, Chicago

59 year-old Meyer lists his occupation as "Salesman of Wholesale Ladies' Dresses", Esther keeps house,  Morris is a Dentist, Louis is a Census Taker, George is a "New Worker" and Sherman does not have an occupation listed.

Sherman Levine was a member of the 1940 graduating class of Von Steuben High School in Chicago.  He was very athletic.  I have shown above his photo from the sophomore swim team; by the time he was a senior, he had lettered in swimming, baseball and basketball:

Here is the prophecy for Sherman from his senior yearbook:

Here's an inscription Sherman penned in a friend's yearbook:

and here is Sherman's yearbook photo:

In every photo I have seen of Sherman he is smiling - a bright, happy young man with his whole life ahead of him...

War was in the air, and Sherman Levine decided not to wait - he enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps in Chicago on November 5, 1940.  In June, 1941 the Army Air Corps became the Army Air Force. Sherman was assigned to the Hawaiian Division.  His enlistment form said that he had completed 4 years of high school, and had been employed as a clerk.  He was 5' 10" tall, and weighed 177 lbs.

At some point, Sherman Levine was transferred to Hickam AFB on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.

Most people who are frequent readers of this blog are very familiar with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941. However, since I have occasional readers from around the world, if you need more information on what took place on that "Day That Will Live in Infamy" you can find a good overview at:

According to eyewitness reports, Sherman Levine was one of two observers who were on duty at Hickam when the Japanese struck. Sherman was in the administration building near the flight line. Running back past two buildings to get his helmet he was caught with the others in the open on the edge of the parade grounds. He was one of five weathermen struck down by an 800-pound Japanese bomb as they made their way back to the barracks.

What, exactly did Sherman Levine's duties entail?  Sherman was a weather observer, not a forecaster.  His job was to assist the forecaster with various duties and observe the weather.  Sherman took hourly weather observations on the state of the atmosphere.  Sometimes these observations were more frequent depending on how bad the weather was.  Sherman would go outside to an official observing point that had a clear view of the sky and  horizontal visibility.  He would determine what types of clouds were in the sky, how much of the celestial dome was being covered by those clouds, estimated or measured (with different instruments) how high the clouds were off the ground, and lastly determined what the prevailing visibility was and any obstructions (fog, rain, haze, etc.) to that visibility.  He would back inside and add the temperature, dew point, atmospheric pressure, wind direction and speed, and any remarks (e.g., thunderstorm overhead) to his observation of the clouds, weather, and visibility.  He wrote the "observation" on a form and then would send it out locally to the forecaster and tower personnel, and longline to the local area and United States via teletype.  Sherman also probably plotted different weather charts for the forecaster and may have done other duties like tearing and filing the observations and forecasts that came over the teletype machine.  The forecasters liked to have all that teletype data organized and filed on clip boards for quick reference.   Weather observing can be very technical and you need a lot of knowledge on how to code the observations and reliably determine the weather conditions.  It's more complicated than it sounds.  For example, in determining the horizontal visibility, we would have visibility markers (buildings, towers, mountains, etc.) that had known distances from the observing point.  Using those markers, he had to figure out the prevailing visibility.  He just didn't go for the farthest distance you could see in one direction.  He had to average out the farthest distance he could see over half the 360 degree field of view.  He also had to write down in the remarks section of the observation any sector visibilities that differed from the prevailing visibility and what was causing the difference (e.g., fog bank North East, rain shower West).  There were lots of little rules like that in weather observing.  Even determining wind direction and speed depended on different rules.  All of this stuff was put into a code for easy transmission.  So, even though it was a balmy Sunday morning in Hawaii,  before the attack Sherman had plenty to keep him busy.

Even though the Japanese primary target was Pearl Harbor, it was also necessary for them to attack Hickam Field so that the United States could not launch an air response to the attack.  The destruction at Hickam was tremendous.  Here are some photos of Hickam Field, taken during and after the attack:

News of the casualties of the surprise attack on Hawaii by the Japanese took several days to work its way back to the homeland.  The Chicago Daily Tribune of December 13, 1941 reported the loss of three men from Chicago including Sherman Levine (identified correctly in the article, but in the photos referred to as "Donald Levine.")

There was no system in place to have so many casualties shipped back to their families for burial, coupled with the fact that the US could not at that time afford to spare men, aircraft or fuel to ship bodies back home. Sherman Levine was temporarily buried in Hawaii, as were his fallen comrades.  

Even without a body to bury (they didn't get it back until 1947), the Chicago Jewish community rallied around the memory of Sherman Levine.  The Chicago Daily Tribune of May 21, 1942 shows Sherman's mother and brother George presenting the Red Cross with a check for $500.00 - the proceeds of a benefit dance hosted by B'nai B'rith:

To make sure the memory of Sherman Levine was not forgotten, the Chicago area B'nai B'rith named one of their softball and one of their basketball teams "Sherman Levine," so Sherman's name shows up in the sports pages of the newspapers on a regular basis.

In 1946, the Chicago Jewish community took another step to see that Sherman Levine's sacrifice was not forgotten.  The Tribune of January 13, 1946 mentions that the Jewish United War Veterans of the United States named one of their posts the "Levine-Meyers" post, for Sherman and Army medical corpsman David Meyers, who had been killed in Germany.

In 1947 the family finally got the news they had been waiting for, for so long:  Sherman's body would be one of the hundreds of bodies returned to Chicagoland for burial.

From the Chicago Daily Tribune of October 11, 1947:

Sherman Levine was reburied with full military honors at Westlawn Cemetery on October 26, 1947, in the Dahlia Section next to his father who died in 1942 without ever knowing about Sherman's death at Pearl Harbor.

Here is Sherman's mother's application for his military headstone dated December 10, 1947:

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, the Manager of the Weather Operations Division of the Directorate of Operations of the U.S. Air Force is putting together an archive of material on all 270 men who lost their lives in service to our Country.  Right now he is just working with a list of names - he would, at the very least, like a photograph of each of the 270.  He currently has information on 199 of the men on the list, but has been unable to locate any information on the remaining 71.  When I was talking with him about doing the article on Sherman Levine, I suggested that he give me the list of names where he has been unable to find information, and I would publish it as part of the article.  My readers are all over the world, and are all interested in history, so please look at the list and see if you have information on any of these men, or if you know of a member of their family or someone else who might have photographs or other information.  If you have any information, please send it to:

When I started my article on Sherman Levine I had very little material on him, but with time and a little luck I managed to find all the information shown here.  I told the Air Force that I was certain that we could help - now let's show them what we can do.  Here is the list:

AHRENS - T/Sgt Walter C. Ahrens
Home of record - Hempstead, New York
Born – 11 Dec 1913 in Queens, New York
Died – 23 Jan 1945 in India
Parents, John H. Ahrens and Adeline Ahrens

ANDERSON - Cpl John McDonald Anderson Jr.
Home of record – Bogalusa, Louisiana
Born – 1922 in Nebraska
Died – 23 Feb 1945 near Wadi, Sudan
Parents, John McDonald Anderson and Ruth C. Anderson

BAIN - 1LT George Bain
Home of record – Oakland, California
Born – 27 Oct 1918 in Connecticut
Died – 22 Feb 1952 in Korea
Parents, George Bain and Martha L. (Surgenor) Bain

BERTRAND - S/Sgt Charley Odell Bertrand
Home of record – Bexar, Texas
Born – 16 Nove 1917 in Louisiana
Died – 26 Apr 1944 near the Aleutian Islands
Parents, Unknow father Bertrand and Helen (Mann) Bertrand
Mother re-married Steve Otis Mann
Wife, Quida F. Mann
Also lived in Galveston, Texas

BLAIR - Cpl Kenneth E. Blair
Home of record – Kern, California
Born - 1924 in Wyoming
Died – 8 July 1944 in England
Parents, Fred Jerry Blair and Dorothy Blair

BUCHANAN - Sgt Jesse Gardner Buchanan Jr.
Home of record – Dallas, Texas
Born – 7 Nov 1917 in Dallas, Texas
Died – 5 Sep 1945 in Hawaii
Parents, Jesse Gardner Buchanan and Vallie V. Buchanan

COLLINS - A1C Edwin Wesley Collins
Home of record – Galveston, Texas
Born – 9 Jan 1030 in Dickinson, Texas
Died – 22 Feb 1952 in North Korea
Parents, Charles “Bud” Wesley Collins and Theodosia Georgia (Hoover) Collins

COOKE - 1LT James Henry Cooke
Home of record – Brattleboro Vermont
Born – 13 June 1918 in Vermont
Died – 18 Jun 1943 in Itchioka Prison Hospital, Japan
Parents, Harrison Aldrich Cooke and Mary Cole (Tanner) Cooke
Attended Dartmouth College, may have graduated in 1939

DIETERICH - 2LT William Forbes Dieterich
Home of record – Chicago, Illinois
Born – 22 Aug 1921 in Chicago, Illinois
Died – 26 Apr 1944 near the Aleutian Islands
Parents, Curtis F. Dieterich and Marion M. Dieterich

DZWONKOSKI - 1LT Onufry W. Dzwonkoski
Home of record – Rosholt, Wisconsin
Born – 27 Apr 1913 in Wisconsin
Died – 9 Apr 1944 in Alaska
Parents, John Dzwonkoski and Martha (Wanta) Dzwonkoski

FAY - S/Sgt Donald D. Fay
Home of record – Rochester, New York
Born – 1913 in New York
Died – 24 Oct 1944 in Sinking of the Asian Maru POW ship
Parents, Frank Fisk Fay and Mabel Rose (DuBois) Fay
May have had a post-graduate education and been a widower

FEATHER - 1LT Carrol Wayne Feather
Home of record – New Ross, Indiana
Born – 1918 - Illinois
Died – 23 Oct 1944 - Italy
Parents, William Leadford Feather and Maude M. (Miller) Feather

FISHER - 2LT Elgin E. Fisher
Home of record – Norman, Oklahoma
Born – 23 Sep 1921 in Kansas
Died – 13 Dec 1944 in China or India
Parents, Earl M. Fisher and Jessie (Shank) Fisher
Buried in St John, Kansas

FLAHERTY - CWO William E. Flaherty
Home of record – Rantoul, Illinois
Born – 24 Nov 1918 in Wasco, Illinois
Died – 19 Apr 1946 - Morocco
Parents, Cecil Parke Flaherty and Elithe M. (Deames) Flaherty
Graduated Bloomington High School in 1936
Married with a son

FULLER - 1LT James A Fuller
Home of record – Bremerton, Washington
Born – 14 May 1923 in Washington State
Died – 12 Aug 1945 near Nanking, China
Parents, Albert C. Fuller and Stella V. Fuller
Buried in San Mateo, California

GALLAGHER - 2LT William Gallagher Jr.
Home of record – Syracuse, New York
Born – 1924 probably in New York
Died – 26 Apr 1944 near the Aleutian Islands
Parents, William Gallagher and Gladys M. Gallagher

GHOLSON - 1LT Hubert Lynn Gholson
Home of record – Mesa, Arizona
Born - 23 Apr 1918 in Beloit, Kansas
Died – 20 May 1944 in England
Parents, Bert Orange Gholson and Ellen M. (McKellips) Gholson
Graduated from Chandler High School (AZ) in 1935 and University of Arizona in 1939 and 1940.

GILL - Cpl Author Hendrix Gill Jr.
Home of record – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Born – 2 Jan 1924 in Pennsylvania
Died – 5 Jul 1945 in Omori Prison Camp, Tokyo, Japan
Parents, Author Hendrix Gill and Harriett Magdaline Gill
May have graduated from Olney High School in Philadelphia in 1942.

GSTADLER - Sgt Harold E. Gstalder
Home of record – Hokah, Minnesota
Born – 2 Oct 1922 in Minnesota
Died – 25 July 1945 near Majoe Island, Pacific Ocean
Parents, John Gstalder and Clara J. (Stimpson) Gstalder

HANNAH – 2LT Dale S. Hannah
Home of record – Artesia, New Mexico
Born – 1922 in New Mexico
Died – 30 Aug 1944 near New Guinea
Parents, Ernest A. Hannah and Mable Hannah

HARRIGAN - T/Sgt Gerald Thomas Harrigan
Home of record  - Plymouth County, Massachusetts
Born – 1916
Died – 7 Apr 1944 in North Africa
Parents, Thomas Francis Harrigan and Elizabeth F. (Griffiths) Harrigan

HARROW - Cpl Leonard S. Harrow (born Leonard Horowitz)
Home of record  -  Brooklyn, New York
Born – 1918 – New York
Died – Oct 1944 in France
Parents, Nathan Horowitz and Jennie (Smellow) Horowitz
Spouse , Sally Harrow (Born 1913)

HASTINGS - M/Sgt James K. Hastings
Home of record  -  Norwalk, Connecticut
Born – 1917 – Massachusetts
Died – 6 Nov 1944 - near Paramushiru Island in the Pacific Ocean
Parents, William Michael Hastings and Frances Cecily (Evans) Hastings
May have attended Boston College

HAWTHORNE – SSgt J.D.F. Hawthorne
Home of record – Alabama
Born – 1920 in Florida
Died – 29 Aug 1944 – Ceram (Seram) Island, Indonesia (Dutch East Indies)
Parents, Unknown Father Hawthorne and Edna Hawthorne

HAYES – SSgt Leonard M. Hayes
Home of record – Clarkdale, Arizona
Born – 9 Apr 1921 in Arizona
Died – 24 Dec 1944 near Italy
Parents, Leonard Hayes and Maggie M. Hayes

HEDRICK - Sgt Jacob Irvin Hedrick Jr.
Home of record  -  Greensboro, North Carolina
Born – 23 Nov 1922 in Greensboro, North Carolina
Died – 26 Apr 1944 near the Aleutian Islands
Parents, Jacob Irvin Hedrick and Berta (Vereen) Hedrick

HELLER - Sgt Louis W. Heller
Home of record – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Born - 6 Jun 1909 in Pennsylvania
Died – 24 Sep 1944 - France
Parents, Phillip Heller and Libby Heller

HIGH – 2LT George E. High
Home of record – Ashland, Oregon
Born – 26 Oct 1921 in Ashland, Oregon
Died – 30 Aug 1944 near New Guinea
Parents, Edward Govan High and Elizabeth Lucile (Haselton) High

HIRSHFIELD - Sgt Myron Hirshfield
Home of record – Queens, New York
Born - 1919 in New York
Died – 6 Dec 1944 – in France
Parents, Adolph Hirshfield and Lena Hirshfield

HOUSTON - Cpl Carl “Bud” E. Houston
Home of record – Manitowoc, Wisconsin
Born – 1923 in Mississippi
Died – 3 Mar 1945 in Hawaii
Parents, Eber “Jack” Henry Houston and Hedwig “Hattie” Louise (Falk) Houston

HUDSON - T/Sgt Herman Carroll Hudson
Home of record – High Point, North Carolina
Born – 9 Sep 1923 in Lexington, North Carolina
Died – 16 Mar 1944 South Pacific
Parents, Seth Hudson and Florence (Collins) Hudson

HUGE – Sgt Raymond H. Huge
Home of record – Cincinnati, Ohio
Born – 4 Aug 1924 in Hamilton, Ohio
Died – 30 Aug 1944 near New Guinea
Parents, Albert H. Huge and Clara Huge

HUTCHISON - 1LT Amos M. Hutchison Jr.
Home of record – Bexar, Texas
Born - 1918 in Wisconsin
Died – 16 Feb 1943 off the English Coast
Parents, Amos Martin Hutchison and Philomine T. Hutchison

JARVIS - Sgt Louis W. Heller
Home of record – Houlton, Maine
Born – 31 Dec 1917 in Maine
Died – 30 Aug 1944 near New Guinea
Parents, Franklin T. Jarvis and Agnes B. (Boulter) Jarvis

KLEIN – TSgt Seymour M. Klein
Home of record – New York City
Born – 1919 probably in New York
Died – 24 Dec 1944 near Italy
Parents, Unknown father. Mother’s maiden name may have been Glickman
Uncle’s name was Mr. Victor Glickman and he lived in New York City.

KOBUS - Sgt Frank H. Kobus
Home of record – New York
Born – 1921 in New York
Died – 26 Apr 1944 near the Aleutian Islands
Parents, Unknown Kobus and Anna Kobus. Anna lived at 275 Grand Street in Brooklyn, New York

KOSCIUSZEK – SSgt Peter P. Kosciuszek
Home of record – Worcester, Massachusetts
Born – 5 Aug 1919 in Massachusetts
Died – 29 Aug 1944 – Ceram (Seram) Island, Indonesia (Dutch East Indies)
Parents, Alexander Kosciuszek and Pauline Kosciuszek

LARSEN - 2LT Wilfred Walter Larsen
Home of record – Anaconda, Montana
Born – 11 Nov 1918 in North Dakota
Died – 26 Apr 1944 near the Aleutian Islands
Parents, Alexander Garman Larsen and Joyce Ethel Vear (Denison) Larsen
Wife, Lorene P. Larsen

LECHERT - 2LT Kenneth Frank Lechert
Home of record – Chicago, Illinois
Born – 15 Feb 1920 in Chicago, Illinois
Died – 26 Apr 1944 near the Aleutian Islands
Parents, Frank Lechert and Marie M. (Stolz) Lechert

LE VIEN – 2LT Jackson E. Le Vien
Home of record – San Francisco, California
Born – 1917 in Canada to American parents
Died – 30 Aug 1944 near New Guinea
Parents, Joseph Le Vien and Bertha (Schroeder) Le Vien
Wife, Barbara Le Vien

LIVINGSTON - PFC Richard E. Livingston
Home of record – Columbus, Ohio
Born – 4 Oct 1917 in Ohio
Died – 7 Dec 1941 at Hickam Field, Hawaii
Parents, Charles G. Livingston and Elizabeth Agnes Livingston

LUKE - Robert Leland Luke
Home of record – Saint Louis, Missouri
Born – 1908 in Oklahoma
Died – 26 Apr 1944 near the Aleutian Islands
Parents, Samuel Ernest Luke and Lydia B (Fritz) Luke
Wife, Dorothy (McEneny) Luke

MANN - 1LT John J. Mann
Home of record – Brooklyn, New York
Born - 1917 in New York
Died – 7 Jul 1944 - off the English Coast
Parents, Francis Patrick Mann and Mary Magdalene (Burke) Mann

MATHIAS – 2LT Allen L. Mathias
Home of record – San Bernardino, California
Born – 1920 in Illinois
Died – 24 Dec 1944 near Italy
Parents, Carl Finley Mathias and Mildred Maurine (Hudson) Mathias

MATWICIO – 1LT Paul R. Matwicio
Home of record – Illinois
Born – 27 Jun 1922 in Illinois
Died – 24 Dec 1944 near Italy
Parents, Unknown Father and mother
Wife, Jean Edith (Lavender) Matwicio

MCDERMOTT - Capt Edward P. McDermott
Home of record – Dayton, Ohio
Born – 1918 in Ohio
Died – 26 Apr 1944 near the Aleutian Islands
Parents, Thomas J. McDermott and Anna McDermott

MEACHAM - A2C Wayne S. Meacham
Home of record – Utah
Born – 15 Apr 1945 in Utah
Died – 6 Sep 1966 in plane crash - Taiwan
Parents, Ivan Meacham and Celia W. Meacham

NOEL - 1LT Arthur F. Noel
Home of record – Lowell, Massachusetts
Born – 1921 in Lowell, Massachusetts
Died – 29 Mar 1944 in Italy
Parents, Arthur J. Noel and Jennie G. Noel
Have one blurry picture wearing leather flight helmet

NORRIS - PFC Raymond Leavitt Norris Jr.
Home of record – Colorado or Washington State
Born – 1920 in Windsor, Colorado
Died – 10 Jun 1944 in Alaska
Parents, Raymond Leavitt Norris and Kate Bassett (Lamb) Norris
Wife Jean F. Frsibe (1921-1999, lived in Coos Bay, Oregon)

PFLUEGER - 1LT James W. Pflueger
Home of record – Roanoke, Virginia
Born - 12 Sep 1917
Died – 9 Nov 1942 in North Africa
Parents, Arthur Smith Pflueger and Noela A. (Hidgers) Pflueger
Graduated from Roanoke College and Columbia University.

PRATHER – Sgt Max A. Prather
Home of record – Lakeville, Iowa
Born – 12 May 1913 in Iowa
Died – 30 Aug 1944 near New Guinea
Parents, Michael LeRoy Prather and Inez Dora (Heath) Prather

PURCHASE - Sgt Fred W. Purchase
Home of record – Detroit, MI
Born – 1908 in Michigan
Died – 10 Jun 1944 in Alaska
Parents, Mothers maiden name was Heinge, Grandfather, Albert Heinge and Grandmother was Anna C. Heinge
Lived in Saugatuck, MI

PYKA - F/O James Matthew Pyka
Home of record – Texas
Born – 28 Jan 1922 in Gillespie, Texas
Died – 19 Jun 1945 in China
Parents, Valentine Blasius Pyka and Therese (Knopp) Pyka
Wife, Roberta J. (Mines) Pyka
Also live in Fredericksburg, Texas
Have one poor quality picture

REED – SSgt Harry Houston Reed, Jr.
Home of record – Simpson, Kentucky
Born – 18 Oct 1920 in Simpson, Kentucky
Died – 29 Aug 1944 – Ceram (Seram) Island, Indonesia (Dutch East Indies)
Parents, H
Have one blurry picture wearing leather flight helmet

ROOT - Capt John David Root
Home of record – Plymouth, Massachusetts
Born – 1921 in Hingham, Massachusetts
Died – 8 Jun 1944 - France
Parents, John Alden Root and Louise J. Root

RUBIN – 2LT Max Rubin
Home of record – Dorchester, Massachusetts
Born – 21 Dec 1919 in Boston Massachusetts
Died – 29 Aug 1944 in Ceram (Seram) Island, Indonesia (Dutch East Indies)
Parents, Jacob Rubin and Mary Rubin
Wife, Edith Rubin – Lived in Dorchester, Massachusetts

SCHAEFER - S/Sgt Alvin C. Schaefer
Home of record – Norfolk, Nebraska
Born – 1923 in Nebraska
Died – 19 Jun 1945 in China
Parents, Joseph C. Schaefer and Ann Schaefer

SLOBUTSKY - T/Sgt Ben Slobutsky
Home of record – Chicago, Illinois
Born – 1919 in Chicago, IL
Died – 10 Oct 1943 near Bouganville, Pacific Ocean
Parents, Jacob Slobutsky and Anna (Matrashavsky) Slobutsky

SMITH – SSgt John W. Smith
Home of record – Millville, Florida
Born – 13 Jun 1921 in Millville, Florida
Died – 24 Dec 1944 near Italy
Parents, Arva Cleveland Smith and Emma Gertrude (Martin) Smith

SPRECHER - Sgt Emanuel M. Sprecher
Home of record – Queens, New York
Born – 1913 in Queens, New York
Died – 27 Apr 1944 in Hawaii
Parents, Samuel Sprecher and Mollie (Spatz) Sprecher

STILWELL - 1LT William Geffen Stilwell
Home of record – Seattle, Washington
Born – 16 Feb 1918 in Lincoln, Washington
Died – 13 Dec 1944 in China, India or Hawaii
Parents, William Dillon Stilwell and Ether Mary (Long) Stilwell
Wife, Eileen Augusta (Hall) Stilwell (1918 – 2009)
Daughter Sharon Kay Stilwell (1943-2003)
Have one picture of him in a swimming pool.

THOEN – SSgt Kenneth H. Thoen
Home of record – San Francisco, California
Born – 6 Mar 1909 in North Dakota
Died – 29 Aug 1944 – Ceram (Seram) Island, Indonesia (Dutch East Indies)
Parents, Adolph Thoen and Hannah (Gedestad) Thoen

THOMPSON - Sgt Le Roy Dan Thompson
Home of record – Shevlin, Minnesota
Born – 1920 in Shevlin, Minnesota
Died – 26 Apr 1944 near the Aleutian islands
Parents, Carl Otto Thompson and Annie L. (Olson) Thompson

THORNTON – FO Harold A. Thornton
Home of record – Southwick, Idaho
Born – 5 Aug 1919 – Southwick, Idaho
Died – 29 Aug 1944 – Ceram (Seram) Island, Indonesia (Dutch East Indies)
Parents, Frank Homer Thornton and Mamie L. Thornton

TUOHY - 1LT Edward Frank Tuohy
Home of record – Honolulu, HI
Born – 2 Aug 1919 in San Francisco, CA
Died – 17 Nov 1944 in Yugoslavia
Parents, Francis Patrick Tuohy and Glenna T. (Thomas) Tuohy
Flight training in Marfa, TX - Class 43-J

WAITE - Cpl John R. Waite
Home of record – Albion, Michigan
Born – 25 Apr 1922 in Michigan
Died – 25 July 1945 near Tomohon Village, North East Celebes, Pacific
Parents, Clyde Wallace Waite and Esther Julia (Rowan) Waite

WALKER - 2LT Frederick Arthur Walker
Home of record – Kalamazoo, MI
Born – 15 Apr 1921 in Kalamazoo, MI
Died – 11 Feb 1945 in Italy
Parents, Arthur Walker and Dorothea Mary (Shannon) Walker
      Wife, Winifred B. Walker and son Frederick Arthur Walker II

WHALEN - Sgt Albert F. Whalen
Home of record – Troy, New York
Born – 1924 in New York
Died – 13 Dec 1944 in China or India
Parents, George Whalen and Josephine Whalen

WOLFGRAM - 1LT Russell Jack Wolfgram
Home of record – Washington DC
Born – 12 May 1928 in Washington DC
Died – 22 Feb 1952 in North Korea
Parents, Russell G. Wolfgram and Page Minnie (Kline) Wolfgram

YORK - 2LT Max Eugene York
Home of record – Indianapolis, Indiana
Born – 10 Oct 1920 in Hendricks, Indiana
Died – 26 Apr 1944 near the Aleutian Islands
Parents, Earl T. York and Fara A. (Woodward) York

YOUNG - S/Sgt Floyd A. Young
Home of record – Chicago, Illinois
Born – 5 Jun 1917 - Illinois
Died – 30 Oct 1944 in France
Parents, Fred W. Young and Edna Elizabeth (Fitzner) Young

2,386 Americans died in the attack of December 7, 1941.  While it is not possible to know the story of each one, the Weather Operations Division of the Directorate of Operations of the U.S. Air Force is trying to make sure those who died on December 7, and all of the 270 men who died working for the weather service are not forgotten.  Please look the list over, and if you can help with material on one of the lost, please send it to the email address above.  If you know someone who might have information, please pass this article along to them.

We are very proud of all the men and women who made the supreme sacrifice on December 7, 1941.  I especially want to remember a smiling kid from Von Steuben High School who went to war and came back to Chicago in a box draped with an American flag.  I never knew Sherman Levine, but I will never forget him.

PFC Sherman Levine - Born June 29, 1923 at Chicago, Illinois - Died December 7, 1941 at Hickam AFB, Hawaii - may he rest in peace.  


  1. God bless and Godspeed to all of our American heroes... and thank you for the wonderful article.

  2. I too came across the grave of a young sailor who died on December 7, 1941. It turns out he was one of the first Americans killed that day. Radioman Sydney Pierce, 19, and his pilot were flying back to Oahu from the USS Enterprise, out to sea on maneuvers, when they came across one of the Japanese bombers on its way to Pearl. A dogfight ensued; both planes were shot down over land with no survivors. Sydney’s body was returned to the States after the war. He’s now buried at Beth Yeshurun Cemetery in Houston. We discovered his headstone while walking through the cemetery and were able to discover the story. Please contact me at if you are interested in more.

  3. Hi there! I'm working on a story for KXMB-TV in Bismarck on the Pearl Harbor attack. May I have permission to use your photo of PFC Sherman Levine?

  4. "My" sailor is Sidney Pierce, whom I mentioned in the comments. If you are interested in his story, please respond to my email as given above.

  5. Thank you for this site.

    I’m a meteorologist & work on the Hickam AFB side. I pass the admin building/ original base ops or airfield operations building to/ from work. It’s a beautifully restored building whereas the observer crows nest is still there. There’s also a wonderful memorial regarding those weather personnel who’d perished Dec 7, ‘1941. A copy of the obs sheet is there as well.

    The nearby roundabout, below the flagpole also has their names etched on the waist high memorial.

  6. When I was in high school in Chicago (1957-1961) I was in AZA chapter (Jewish youth group similar to the CYO) named Sherman Levine. All I (and my friends knew
    about Sherman was that he was from the West side of Chicago and that he was the
    first Jewish service member to die in WWII (which on December 7, 1941 was not even
    a day of war!).
    Today, 12/7/2020, I went on line in the hopes of finding out any info on Sherman.
    What a wonderful site this is and what a great wealth of info on Sherman. Thanks!
    As a side note, my father graduated from Von Steuben H.S. (1936) and is also interred at Westlawn Cemetery.
    I plan to visit my dad and Sherman next time I get to Chicago.
    Allen Jacobs, Scottsdale, AZ

  7. Comment from this post on the original blog, in November 2013: Jim, once again you've inspired me. I've done some detective work and found a photo (more than one) of Corporal Earl E. Jackson on the list. I researched and wrote about Cpl. Earl E. Jackson here: and here: