Hamilton County


Arnold Alfred Wilcox





Sailor’s Mother, Mrs. Icea Wilcox, Gets Wire From Navy.

A telegram received by Mrs. Icea Wilcox from the United States navy informs her that after an exhaustive search no trace of her son, Arnold Alfred Wilcox, 23, has been found and he is officially declared to have lost his life in the service of his country, Dec. 7, 1941.

Mrs. Wilcox is a sister of Mrs. Harvey Brewer and Mrs. J. W. Miller, of this city.

Arnold, whose home was in Dumont, was a second class quartermaster of the USS Arizona, which was badly damaged during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

He had visited in Webster City a number of times and had many friends here. He last wrote to his mother Nov. 23.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - Feb. 11, 1942


Arnold Wilcox, This City, Honored Posthumously by Navy.

Arnold Wilcox, 23, who died aboard the U.S.S. Arizona in the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941, has been awarded posthumously the Purple Heart medal, his mother, Mrs. Icea Wilcox of this city, has been notified by the navy department.

Wilcox, a quartermaster second class, thus qualifies as the first Hamilton county casualty in World War II and holds the first decoration.

Mrs. Wilcox stated Friday that she had received the notice and certificate announcing the awarding of the medal and is awaiting actual receipt of the award.

Reported Missing

The Webster City sailor was first reported missing in a navy message to his mother Dec. 21, 1941. In February, 1942, Mrs. Wilcox received word her son had been officially declared dead.

Wilcox had served for nearly six years aboard the Arizona which was sent to the bottom of Pearl Harbor and has never been raised. He had enlisted originally in 1936, and came back to Webster City in 1940 for a short visit with his mother and other relatives. He reenlisted in October of that year from Charles City and was reassigned to the Arizona.

Served as Bugler

Although he was a quartermaster second class at the time of his death he had first served as a bugler aboard the Arizona. Following completion of his boot training at San Diego, Cal., he was sent to buglemaster’s school and then assigned to the battleship where he was bugler for three years before receiving a change in classification.

The sailor was born in 1918 in Butler county. Besides his mother he leaves two brothers and two sisters—Lyle of Spencer, Paul of Sioux City, Mrs. Joyce Southwick of Cherokee and Miss Helen Wilson of Rockford, Ill. His father died when Arnold was but three months old.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - Feb. 11, 1944


Arnold is buried at the USS Arizona Memorial, Honolulu, HI and has a cenotaph at the Dumont Cemetery, Dumont, IA.

World War II Memorial
National Purple Heart Hall of Honor