Henry Zemola

NAME
Henry Zemola
NICKNAME
MCSN
305306
HOME OF RECORD
1081 North Marshfield Avenue, Chicago, IL
NEXT OF KIN
Father, Mr. Henry Zemola
DATE OF BIRTH
October 30, 1921
DATE OF ENLISTMENT
March 3, 1941
DATE OF LOSS
May 8, 1942
REGION
Pacific
CAMPAIGN / AREA
Coral Sea
CASUALTY TYPE
KIA
UNIT
Marine detachment,
USS Lexington
DUTY
1st Loader
Gun #6
CIRCUMSTANCES OF LOSS
PFC Zemola was a member of the Marine detachment aboard the carrier USS Lexington. His battle station was in 5-inch Gallery 2 (port side forward), on Gun #6.
During the Battle of the Coral Sea, at 1122 on 8 May 1942, a bomb exploded in his gun’s ammunition locker. The entire crew was killed or mortally wounded by the blast.
PFC Zemola’s remains went down with his ship.
INDIVIDUAL DECORATIONS
Letter of Commendation, Purple Heart
LAST KNOWN RANK
Private First Class
STATUS OF REMAINS
Lost at sea.
MEMORIALS
Manila American Cemetery

Biography:
Temporarily removed for editing and updating. Contact the webmaster for information on this Marine.


Articles and Records:

The Chicago Daily Tribune, 14 August 1942.

 

Photo Gallery:

This US Navy photograph, taken on the afternoon of 8 May 1942, shows the remnants of Gun #6. Twelve Marines were burned to death or blown overboard; the rest of the crew died of their wounds.

6 thoughts on “Henry Zemola

  1. Comment from Victoria Farrar
    19 March 2012

    Henry was my grandmothers brother. It is nice to have some more detail on his brave service. Thank you.

    1. Reply on 8 April 2012

      Victoria – you’re very welcome. I wish I could have provided more information. Have you considered getting a copy of his service records from the national archives?

  2. Comment from Patricia Erdley
    3 July 2012

    My Dad was his youngest brother. We received his records and his Purple Heart and had a letter signed by the President, in 2004. How was this record created? Patricia (Zemola) Erdely

    1. Reply on 3 July 2012

      Hi Patricia – this summary was created through available census and muster rolls on ancestry.com, an After Action report from BuShips in 1942, and various other Web resources. It’s necessarily a bit incomplete as I can’t get records for every Marine listed as missing. If you notice any mistakes, or there’s something that should be included, please let me know!

      Best,
      Geoff

      1. Reply on 3 July 2012

        Boy, thank you for the swift reply. Your information is actually more informative than what the military provided. He enlisted on 03 Mar 1941, and reported to the USS Lexington on 26 Aug 1941. His remains were unrecoverable, he went down with the ship. He is engraved on the Battle Memorial in the Phillipines.
        Thank you for the honor of having him remembered on this Memorial.

      2. Reply on 3 July 2012

        I’m glad to be able to do something to help remember what he gave up for all of us. I’ll add those dates to his memorial right away.

        Here are a few of the links I used – some of them go into a LOT of detail. PFC Zemola’s station was Gun #6, Gun Gallery #2.

        The official report of the loss of the Lexington:
        http://www.fold3.com/image/#268369521&terms=uss+lexington

        The ship’s action report – includes some pictures of Gallery #2 and Gun #6 (the aft-most gun) after the attack.
        http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/ships/logs/CV/CV2-Coral.html

        And here, on page 24, is some information on his citation for bravery in the battle:

        Best,
        Geoff

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