Information about our Post’s namesake.
We would greatly appreciate any information or assistance you can give us to find out more about Paul Herrick and Post 21. Please use the contact page or send email to the Post Adjutant.
More information about Pvt. Paul E. Herrick can be found on these websites:
Missing Marines – Paul’s information is way at the bottom of the page. The author of the Missing Marines website has a link to a book he wrote at the top of the page. Give that link a click, it looks very interesting.
USS Arizona.org – We are excited about finding more information about Paul on the History Tab of that page. There are survivor stories, Picture Galaries, and Ships Newspaper’s (coming soon) that need to be perused.
USS Arizona (BB39) MarDet survivor list to help with research. A few of these Marines have shared their stories here. While none of them mention Paul Herrick, they do describe the duties and actions of Marines on board that day.
|John M. Baker, Sgt||Edward J. Braham, PFC||Frank R. Cabiness, PFC|
|Edward J. Carter, Plat Sgt||James E. Cory, Pvt1c||John P. Coursey, 1stLt.|
|Lamar S. Crawford, Pvt1c||John H. Earle, Jr., Capt.||Kenneth D. Goodman, Pvt1c|
|Charles L. Hardy, Pvt||Russell J. McCurdy, Pvt||Earl C. Nightingale, Cpl|
|Alan Shapley, Maj||Michael Soley, Cpl||Donald G. Young, Pvt1c|
Here is the write-up on that facebook page, though it is very much worth it to visit the page.
Fifty years after Paul Edward Herrick was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, his only sibling, Jane, told a newspaper reporter she couldn’t bear to speak about him in detail.
Nor, she said, had she visited the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial in Hawaii because it would be too hard to see the sunken battleship containing her brother’s remains.
Their mother, Ruth Lynch Herrick, had the same feelings. She was the guest of honor on Dec. 7, 1944 — the third anniversary of her son’s death — at the installation ceremony for the newly formed Paul Herrick Post 429 of the American Legion in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
She declined all subsequent invitations, a friend and neighbor, Evelyn Konrad, said.Paul Edward Herrick was born June 3, 1922, in Kenosha. His father, Paul Howden Herrick, was a salesman and his mother a homemaker. They eventually separated.
The son graduated in June 1940 from Kenosha High, where he was active in many activities, including the track and football teams, drama and choir. He worked while in school, earning $150 in 13 weeks in 1939 as a grocery store salesman.He was a Boy Scout, too, once burning a loaf of bread he and a buddy, Bill Werner, made while trying to earn a merit badge in cooking.
Mr. Herrick, a member of the American Legion Boy Scout Troop 21, was serious about Scouting. He earned his last two badges and attained the rank of Eagle Scout after he joined the Marines in August 1940. He was a gunnery private.
Sources: An article by Dave Backmann of the Kenosha Sunday News is the primary source for this profile. Other sources include the Kenosha (Wisconsin) Evening News; the Racine (Wisconsin) Times; Census; Marine muster roll. Note: American Legion Post 429 later merged with Post 21, though it continues to be named in Herrick’s honor.
If you have additions or corrections, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org. It is a work in progress to research all 1,177 men killed on the Arizona, and we welcome help from family and friends. Thank you, the USS Arizona Mall memorial project at the University of Arizona.
Photos from the USS Arizona Memorial
Muster Roll found on Ancestry
Paul Herrick’s Boyhood Home
Paul grew up in Kenosha in the Lincoln Park area, and graduated from Kenosha High School in 1939. It’s been suggested by Lou Rugani that a plaque or some kind of memorial be placed in front of the property. This is something we are considering.
Kenosha News, Sunday December 8, 1991 pp 43
These documents were gathered by Post member Steve Tindall from a contact in Pearl Harbor. He discusses them in a briefing that can be found on Youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7pZUfuS9qc
Other Bits & Pieces
The ‘Day of Infamy’: Kenosha looks back
Recollections from those at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941
KENOSHA NEWS STAFF Dec 9, 2016 Updated Oct 21, 2019
The Kenosha News published a series of articles in 1991 commemorating the 50th anniversary of the attack with stories about how the event touched people in the Kenosha area.
Here are some of the stories shared at that time.
What Kenosha was doing On Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941
Members of the Disabled American Veterans of World War I were in Kenosha for a meeting. The delegates learned about the attack that afternoon and sent a resolution offering support to the president and Congress.
Members of Kenosha’s Wisconsin State Guard were ordered to report to the local armory. Six men were excused because they were working Sunday night shifts at defense plants.
Many people here learned of the attack during a radio broadcast of the Chicago Bears-Chicago Cardinals game, where a news bulletin interrupted the play-by-play.
Kenoshans at Pearl Harbor – Young men from Kenosha were stationed in Hawaii when the attack happened.
Pfc. Tony Holochwost decided to go to the PX for coffee and toast rather than eat cold cuts for breakfast. He was waiting for the lunch counter to open when a plane flew overhead. “It kind of rolled on its side, and I saw the big red dot on the wing,” he told the Kenosha News in 1991. “I knew what that meant!” The mess hall where he would normally have eaten breakfast was hit by a bomb, killing several soldiers.
Cpl. Bill Bader and Fireman 2nd Class Stan Valentine heard planes and thought it was a drill. When the second wave came through, Bader was part of a group who fired rifles at the planes. “Just across the street was an oil tank farm, 16 big fuel tanks,” he recalled. “But the Japs never fired a bullet at them. They were empty, and they must have known that. I thought a lot about that afterward.”
Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class Stephen Duba saw a torpedo plane head toward battleships. “You could see the pilot in the cockpit, just like you were looking into a car,” he said.
Fireman 1st Class Bob Kramsvogel learned of the attack when a torpedo struck the USS California. He worked on the vessel with a firefighting detail, until the order came to abandon ship. “I jumped into the water on the harbor side. There was too much debris and oil closer to the shore. I was picked up by a small boat.” Holochwost’s barracks was destroyed. Fifty years later, he still had a pair of scissors he recovered from his quarters. He was a tailgunner for the Air Corps, and said he and someone else went to the hangars, “but our planes had no guns, only gun cameras for practice.”
Kenosha’s first casualty of World War II was the only Kenosha resident to be killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Paul Herrick Jr., 19, was a Marine Corps private stationed on the battleship USS Arizona. Japanese bombs sunk the vessel, and Herrick is one of 1,102 sailors and Marines entombed within the ship.