In Memory of Franklin Van Valkenburgh

 © Photographed July 5, 2015
Forest Home Cemetery
Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin
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In memory of Franklin Van Valkenburgh
Captain U.S.N.
Killed while commanding his ship U.S.S. Arizona at Pearl Harbor T.H. December 7, 1941
In Memory of
Medal of Honor
Capt US Navy World War II
May 5 1888    Dec 7 1941
USS Arizona

The memorial is located at near the center of Forest Home Cemetery, 2405 West Forest Home Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53215.

NOTE: The memorial is in Section 25, Block 6, Lot 12 of the cemetery (see map below).

NOTE: Captain Van Valkenburgh was the last Captain / Commanding Officer of the USS Arizona and was on her bridge when the USS Arizona was bombed and sank in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941; Captain Van Valkenburgh's place of burial is Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument preserves and interprets the stories of the Pacific War, including the events at Pearl Harbor, the internment of Japanese Americans, the battles in the Aleutians, and the occupation of Japan.

Did You Know? The Japanese aerial bomb that struck the forward section of the USS Arizona ignited the forward magazine causing a catastrophic explosion that sunk the battleship in nine minutes.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (December 7, 2015): Milwaukeeans remembered for heroics in Pearl Harbor attack
Born in Minneapolis, Van Valkenburgh moved to Milwaukee when he was a toddler. His father was a prominent lawyer also named Franklin Van Valkenburgh, who served as Milwaukee assistant city attorney and a U.S. attorney for Wisconsin. His great grandmother's brother was Daniel Wells Jr., who represented Wisconsin 1st Congressional District in the 1850s.
He grew up on Milwaukee's east side, attending Cass Elementary School and graduating from East Side High School, later renamed Riverside High School. Appointed to the Naval Academy in Annapolis in 1905, Van Valkenburgh spent the rest of his life in the military. In February 1941, Van Valkenburgh became captain of the USS Arizona, flagship of Battleship Division 1 stationed in Pearl Harbor.
Wikipedia: Franklin Van Vlakenburgh
Both Captain Van Valkenburgh and the division commander, Rear Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, spent the next Saturday evening, December 6, on board [the USS Arizona]. Suddenly, shortly before 08:00 on December 7, Japanese planes roared overhead, shattering the Sunday peace and punctuating it with the explosion of bombs and the staccato hammering of machine guns. Capt. Van Valkenburgh sped forward from his cabin and arrived on the navigation bridge where he immediately began to direct his ship's defense. A quartermaster in the pilot house asked if the captain wanted to go to the conning tower—a less-exposed position in view of the Japanese strafing—but Van Valkenburgh refused to do so and continued to man a telephone, fighting for his ship's life.

A violent explosion suddenly shook the ship, throwing the three occupants of the bridge—Van Valkenburgh, an ensign, and the quartermaster, to the deck, and shattering the bridge windows. Dazed and shaken, the ensign stumbled through the flames and smoke and escaped, but the others were never seen again. A continuing fire, fed by ammunition and oil, blazed for two days until finally being put out on December 9. A subsequent search recovered only Van Valkenburgh's Annapolis class ring.
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Medal of Honor Citation: For conspicuous devotion to duty, extraordinary courage and complete disregard of his own life, during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor T.H., by Japanese forces on 7 December 1941. As commanding officer of the U.S.S. Arizona, Capt. Van Valkenburgh gallantly fought his ship until the U.S.S. Arizona blew up from magazine explosions and a direct bomb hit on the bridge which resulted in the loss of his life.

 The Franklin Van Valkenburg memorial is on the north side
of the Van Valkenburg family headstone.

Captain Franklin Van Valkenburgh
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 The east and south sides of the Van Valkenburg family headstone.

 The south side of the Van Valkenburg family headstone.

 The south and west sides of the memorial.

 View of the memorial from the cemetery road.
The memorial is at the top of the knoll, directly behind these five headstones.

The memorial is located in Section 25, Block 6, Lot 12 of the cemetery.

The memorial is located at Forest Home Cemetery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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