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SEAMAN, Russell Otto 1917 - 1941


Posted By: Joey Stark
Date: 7/25/2011 at 20:26:04

"The Fairfield Daily Ledger"
Wednesday, March 4, 1942
Page 1, Column 7


Will honor Fairfield's frst (sic) war dead at High school auditorium

Memorial services will be held for Russell SEAMAN in the High School auditorium Sunday afternoon at 2:30. SEAMAN is Fairfield and Jefferson County's first casualty of the second World War.

It was announced this morning that the Fairfield Patriotic organizations will sponsor the services for young SEAMAN who was killed in action during the Pearl Harbor attack on Sunday, December 7.

The detailed program for the Memorial services will be announced at a later date, members of the committee stated.

All patriotic orders in Fairfield and Jefferson county will be requested to attend the services in a body. The general public is also urged to attend.

Russell SEAMAN, son of Mrs. May SEAMAN, 304 Depot street, was aboard the Arizona when last heard from. His mother received a message from the War Department in December stating that SEAMAN was missing.

On February 4, Mrs. SEAMAN received another message stating that young SEAMAN was declared lost in action. This last message was signed by Rear Admiral Randall Jacobs, Chief of Bureau of Navigation, Washington, D.C.


"The Fairfield Daily Ledger"
Saturday, March 7, 1942
Page 1, Column 6

SEAMAN Memorial Services Will Be Attended By Many Patriotic Organizations

Will be held in High school auditorium at 2:30 p.m. tomorrow

From all indications, a large number of Fairfield and Jefferson county residents will gather at the High school auditorium tomorrow afternoon at 2:30 to attend the Memorial Services for Russell SEAMAN.

Practically all patriotic orders have indicated that they will attend the services in groups. Members of the sponsoring organization request that all patriotic groups meet at the High School at 2:15 p.m. so that all may enter the auditorium in a body.

The services tomorrow will be in remembrance of Russell Otto SEAMAN, Fireman first class, on the U. S. S. Arizona, and commemorating the death of the first Fairfield and Jefferson county citizen and member of the armed forces to fall in action.

SEAMAN was killed while serving at his post during the Pearl Harbor attack, December 7, 1941.

Following the services the Firing Squad of the Allen Jewett Post, Number 47, of the American Legion will fire the farewell volleys, and "Taps" will be sounded. After a moment of silence, those present will be requested to leave silently.

Arrangements for the Memorial Services have been made by the Fairfield Patriotic Federation.


"The Fairfield Daily Ledger"
Monday, March 9, 1942
Page 1, Columns 4 & 5

Fitting Tribute Is Paid To Russell O. SEAMAN, First War Victim; Many Gathered Here

Delegation from Ottumwa among those present at services

"With honest heart, I come with you, to pay tribute to Russell Otto SEAMAN, who has paid the full and complete measure of devotion to his country."

This opening statement made by Rev. S. P. Williamson was an appropriate passage for the address he delivered at the memorial services held at the high school auditorium yesterday afternoon.

The large room was nearly filled with residents of Fairfield and Jefferson county who gathered to pay their respects to the first person in the armed services from this community to die in action.

The services were attended by practically all patriotic organizations of Fairfield.

Two beautiful hymns were rendered by the mixed chorus of the Fairfield high school. Horace Gentry Jr. sang a solo number "Eternal Father, Strong to Save", commonly known as the "Sailors Hymn." He was accompanied at the piano by Mrs. William Stever.

Rev. E. A. Piper gave the opening prayer. He also presented a large American flag to Mrs. SEAMAN, mother of Russell SEAMAN. He presented the flag in behalf of the American Legion Post of Fairfield.

After the benediction was given by Rev. Williamson, the audience remained standing as the farewell volleys were fired by the American Legion firing squad, and taps were sounded.

A delegation of the Navy Mothers of America Club No. 17 of Ottumwa attended the memorial service. Those in the party were Mrs. Marie Petermann, Commander; Mrs. Verna Wortman, Mrs. Myrtle M. Eakins, Mrs. Zelma M. Horton, Mrs. Maude Johnson, Mrs. Viola Ross, Mrs. Gladys Poncy, Mrs. Ferne Etter, Mrs. Jessie E. Simpson and Mrs. Mary Gray. They were accompanied by E. M. Street, Chief Gunner's Mate and Recruiting officer.

Arrangements for the services yesterday were made by the Fairfield Patriotic Federation.



What have we gained?
What have we lost?
What have we won?
What has it cost?

It cost the life
Of an eager lad,
Who gave to our nation
The best that he had.

We pay him the tribute
In Memorial today,
The first of our number
To fall by the way.

Yet word never tell
The feelings we bear,
But Russell, Safe Landing!
We wish you up there.

-By Capt. J. W. Lathrop,
Chaplain 1st Reg. I. S. G.


*Transcribed for genealogy purposes; I am not related to the person(s) mentioned.

Note: Russell's body was evidently never recovered, as he is listed on the Tablets of the Missing at Honolulu Memorial Cemetery (the 'Punchbowl') in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is noted as Missing In Action or Buried At Sea and was awarded the Purple Heart Medal. A gravestone in Memorial Lawn Cemetery marks his passing In Memoriam. Russell was the son of George W. and Lillian May JOHNSON SEAMAN. The photo here is from the microfilm copy of the newspaper articles and was heavily scratched.

Memorial Program front page, with a better photo

Jefferson Obituaries maintained by Joey Stark.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen

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