Title: Navy AM 2nd Class, World War II
Birthdate: September 26, 1920
Death Date: February 19, 1944
Plot Location: Section G, Range 4, Lot 2
Collingswood, New Jersey was Paul’s hometown although his parents were Philadelphians whose lineage were Irish and German. They made their home in the Garden State suburb because his father’s lifelong occupation was a photo engraver with Bauer Engraving Company in Camden. Like his older sister, Elizabeth, Paul graduated from Collingswood High School.
He pursued a college degree at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. During the last semester of his senior year he registered for the draft, then enlisted in the Navy on June 22, 1942. After basic training at Newport, he went to school in Jacksonville, Florida and became an Aviation Metalsmith, a person who performed daily inspections on aircraft, airframes, and components, and made repairs to ensure optimal performance. This position was later opened to Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Services (WAVES).
In early 1943, Paul spent a few months at Floyd Bennett Airfield in Brooklyn before being trained as an aerial gunner, then assigned to the new aircraft carrier USS Langley in September. After a shakedown trip to South America, the Langley set off for the Pacific war zone in December and saw combat in and around the Marshall Islands.
Paul was killed on February 19, 1944 when he “fell down a bomb elevator shaft, causing instant death” and was buried at sea. Because the event did not involve hostile forces, Paul was not considered to be killed in action (KIA).
His father died that November after a brief illness and was buried with his parents here in Section G. That gravestone now includes both parents and is a cenotaph for Paul, a memorial that honors a person whose remains are elsewhere.
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