Arthur Vernon Gerke

On Guam Island
Arthur V. Gerke, son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur E. Gerke, this city, First Class Hospital Apprentice, according to a letter just received by his parents, was to have left Pearl Harbor for the island of Guam on November 28 and was due to reach Guam on Sunday, December 7 or today.  

Arthur Gerke Missing in Action in Pacific  
Was Headed for Guam When War Started in December  
Arthur Vernon Gerke, 22, Hospital Apprentice, First Class, U.S. Navy, is reported “missing following action in the performance of his duty and in service of his country,” according to a telegram received last night by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur E. Gerke, 649 Summer Street.

The text of the telegram, signed by Rear Admiral Randall Jacobs, Chief of the Bureau of Navigation, follows:

“Washington, DC, March 19, 1942. The Navy Department deeply regrets to inform you that your son, Arthur Vernon Gerke, Hospital Apprentice, Second Class, United States Navy, is missing following action in the performance of his duty and in the service of his country. The Department appreciates your great anxiety and will furnish you further information promptly when received.  Rear Admiral Randall Jacobs.”

Young Gerke enlisted in the Naval Service in November 1940 and attended the Naval Hospital School in San Diego for six months and then six months more at Mare Island. A graduate of the Eau Claire Senior High School, he had attended St. Patrick’s Parochial Grade School previous to that.

The last letter received from young Gerke by his parents was sent by airmail. It was dated Pearl Harbor, November 24, 1941 and was received by his parents a few days before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. In it, he said he was aboard a transport (the name of which was given but which it is not permitted to mention) and was to leave November 28 for the island of Guam. No word had been received from him since.