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Fireman Third Class
Clarence Arvin Blaylock
U. S. Navy
Ser. # 3564558

October 6, 1921 - December 7, 1941

Died aboard  USS Oklahoma
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

Tablets of the Missing at
Honolulu Memorial
Honolulu, Hawaii

Gold Star Mother
Coye Inez (Hawkins) [Blaylock] Nelson

Fireman Third Class Clarence Arvin Blaylock, U.S. Navy was born October 6, 1921, in Tarrant County, Texas to Earnest Ruben Blaylock [February 11, 1901 – June 1, 1959] who was a “tinner” according to the 1920 Federal Census, and later a Bay City businessman who owned and operated E. R. Blaylock Pontiac Co. (car dealership) and E. R. Blaylock Independent Gas & Oil Co. (service station).  His mother was Coye Inez (Hawkins) Blaylock [November 30, 1901 – September 23, 1978] who married Earnest while they were living in Tarrant County on May 6, 1920.  Their marriage did not work out and ended in divorce sometime before 1930.  Arvin and his Mother moved in with his grand parents, Charles M. and Ida E. Hawkins at Polytechnic (a suburb of Fort Worth).  Arvin graduated from Polytechnical High School at the age of 17.


Arvin entered the U.S. Navy on December 14, 1940; first training at San Diego, then at the Great Lakes Training Center.  He was sent to Pearl Harbor Hawaii in March 1941 and assigned to the Battleship USS Oklahoma (BB 37), sister ship to the USS Arizona (BB 39), and affectionately known as “The Okie” by her crew. 


The USS Oklahoma was based at Pearl Harbor from December 6, 1940 for patrols and exercise, and was moored on Battleship Row on December 7, 1941 when Japan launched a surprise attack against the United States.  She took three torpedo hits almost immediately after the first bombs fell.  As she began to capsize, two more torpedoes struck her, and her crew was strafed as they abandoned ship (it is estimated at least nine torpedoes hit the ship).  She had been ripped open almost the complete length of the port (left) side of the ship and within twelve minutes had swung over until halted by her masts touching bottom, her starboard (right) side above water and a part of her keel clear.  Many of her crew however, remained in the fight, clambering aboard the USS Maryland (BB 46) which had been moored inboard to the Oklahoma, to help serve her antiaircraft batteries.  Twenty officers and 395 enlisted men were either killed or missing, marking the second greatest loss of life at Pearl Harbor; 32 others wounded, and many were trapped within the capsized hull, to be saved by heroic efforts. 


Arvin was first classified as missing; when no trace of him could be found he was reclassified as Killed In Action.  Due to his rating specialty as a fireman (mechanic in the engine room) he would have been exposed to horrific blast effect had he been anywhere near the engine room spaces.

Arvin’s remains could not be identified and were interred with his other deceased shipmates in a co-mingled group interment either at Nuuanu Cemetery or Halawa Cemetery.  In 1949 these remains were disinterred and moved to the Punchbowl when it was officially dedicated.  Regrettably this move resulted in further co-mingling of the remains.  He is listed on the Tablets of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Although technically not a Matagorda County casualty, his father being a Bay City businessman at the time of his death, we are proud to honor him and his sacrifice by including him among our honored dead of World War II. At the time of his death he was survived by his parents and two maternal aunts, Edna Maureece Hawkins and Pauline Duke.

NOTE: Due to the fact his death occurred on December 7, 1941 it could be construed he was the first WWII battle casualty for Matagorda County.  That fatal distinction falls upon Corporal George Miller Curtis, USAAF from Palacios, Texas who was Killed In Action on June 19, 1942 while serving in the Philippines.  The first Matagorda County non-battle casualty for WWII was Aviation Cadet Houston Wilson Savage, USAAF, also from Palacios, who was killed in an aircraft training accident on January 17, 1942.

Photograph of the capsized USS Oklahoma and a slightly damaged USS Maryland, 12/07/1941



Sailor at Pearl Harbor Reported “Missing” by Navy


Arvin Blaylock, 20, son of Mr. E. R. Blaylock, was reported missing today by the Navy Department.  Arvin was stationed on one of the ships based at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese surprise attack struck the base on the fateful Sunday of Dec. 7.


The son of the Bay City automobile dealer was not reported as a casualty, but only as “missing,” which causes Mr. Blaylock to still hold out hope.  Definite information is expected from the Navy Department in the near future.


Arvin Blaylock entered the service of his country December 14, 1940.  He entered training at San Diego, and from there was sent to the Great Lakes Training Center.


He was sent to Pearl Harbor in March of this year.  His relatives visited him in San Francisco in August of this year when the Fleet returned to the home base.  It was then returned to the Pearl Harbor base. 


The young seaman was a graduate of the Polytechnical High School in Fort Worth at the age of 17.  He joined the Navy about a year after graduation from high school.


The Daily Tribune, December 22, 1941


Charles Lundgren USS Oklahoma image courtesy of Unicover Corporation, Cheyenne, Wy.

Bay City Man Listed By Navy As "Missing"

Mr. and Mrs. E. R. Blaylock of Bay City received word from the War Department Monday that their son, Arvin, is among the "missing" on the U. S. S. Oklahoma, a battleship that was blasted by Japanese bombers on December 7.

Fears for the worst are held by his parents. Arvin enlisted in the U. S. Navy in 1939.

Palacios Beacon, December 25, 1941


Son of Bay City Auto Dealer Fell; Navy Reports

A telegram was received here last night by E. R. Blaylock that his son Arvin, 20, had been killed in action in Pearl Harbor December 7.

The telegram read: Clarence Arvin Blaylock, fireman third class U. S. Navy, after exhaustive search, officially declared to have lost his life in the service of his country as of December 7, 1941. Department expresses sincerest sympathy.―Rear Admiral Randall Jacobs, Chief of Bureau of Navigation, Washington, D. C.

Young Blaylock was reported missing after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor but no definite information was available at the time.

Arvin Blaylock entered the service of his country December 14, 1939. He entered training at San Diego and from there was sent to the Great Lakes Training Center.

He was sent to Pearl Harbor in March of this year. His relatives visited him in San Francisco in August of last year when the Fleet returned to its base. It returned then to the Pearl Harbor base until the attack in December.

Blaylock is the son of E. R. Blaylock of Bay City local automobile dealer.

The Daily Tribune, February 14, 1942




Pictures from the
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
courtesy of Daniel Davila
Acres of Honor



Official Website of the USS Oklahoma
Crew Members and Family

The USS Oklahoma Memorial At Pearl Harbor

USS Oklahoma information courtesy of Kevin King


Standard pictures from the USS Oklahoma Memorial courtesy of Jackie Nohara, daughter of George Brown a USS Oklahoma survivor who was the ship's cook.

Picture courtesy Kevin King
Official Web Site of the USS Oklahoma
Crew Members and Family


Coye Inez Nelson & Ralph L. Nelson

Courtesy of

Coye Inez Nelson

Coye Inez Nelson, 76, 729 N. Armigo, died Saturday at Memorial General Hospital. She had lived here since 1973.

The body will be sent to Meissner-Brown Funeral Home in Fort Worth, Texas, for services and burial in the Rosehill Cemetery at Fort Worth.

Survivors include two sisters, Edna Maureece Hawkins of Las Cruces and Pauline Duke of Truth or Consequences.

Las Cruces Sun, September 25, 1978

Courtesy of Branigan Library, Las Cruces, New Mexico

Earnest Blaylock


Earnest Ruben Blaylock, 58, of West Columbia died at 3:15 p.m. Monday.  Service to be held Wednesday, 3:00 p.m. at First Methodist Church in Bay City, with the Rev. Leslie LeGrand officiating.  Interment will be in Cedarvale cemetery.


Survivors include his wife, Mrs. E. R. Blaylock; one son, Billy, both of West Columbia; one daughter, Mrs. Jeffrey Scot Davis of Houston; two sisters, Mrs. Fred Warner of Palacios and Mrs. Alice Holman, McRea, Ark; four grandchildren, Billy Blaylock, Jr., Debbie Blaylock of West Columbia and Jeffrey Scott and David Wayne Davis of Houston.


Pallbearers, Jack Cole, S. L. Watkins, Buster Oliver, Guy Barnett, Doug Kain and Frank Ottis.


The Daily Tribune, Tuesday, June 2, 1959



Copyright 2006 - Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
All rights reserved
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific Pictures © Daniel Davila

Jan. 28, 2006
Dec. 15, 2011