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First Name: Floyd

Last Name: Wells

Birthplace: Cavalier, Pembina, ND, US

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)

Rating: Radioman Petty Officer 2nd Class

Home of Record: ND
Middle Name: Arthur

Date of Birth: 18 April 1917

Date of Death: 07 December 1941 (Presumed)

MIA Date: 07 December 1941

Rank or Rate: Petty Officer Second Class

Years Served: 1938-1941

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Floyd was the son of Earl Curtis and Edna Marie Larson Wells who were married before 01 April 1915. Floyd's siblings were Clifford Lewis, Glenn E., Howard Barton and Phyllis J. Wells.

Floyd attended Fairdale High School in Walsh County where he grew up. He was by all accounts an outstanding student and athlete. He was awarded a scholarship to Concordia College in Moorehead, Minnesota in recognition of his academic achievements. He was considered a top-notch baseball and basketball player according to family members.

Several years after he graduated from Fairdale High School, Floyd enlisted in the US Navy (NSN:328-52-11) shortly before his 21st birthday on 05 April 1938 in Minneapolis, Hennepin, MN. He attended basic training at the Naval Training Station (NTS) Great Lakes, IL. After completing his initial training, he probably attended the radioman service school that was in the Chicago, IL area. Floyd was advanced to Seaman Second Class (S2c) before 30 Sep 1938. Upon graduation from radio school, he became a radioman striker.

He transferred to the staff of Commander, Battle Division One (COMBATDIV ONE) embarked on the flagship USS Arizona (BB-39). He reported for duty in Sep 1938. The following year on 16 Oct 1939, he advanced in rate to Seaman First Class (S1c). On 16 Feb 1940, he advanced in rate to Radioman Third Class (RM3). Then on 01 May 1941, he was advanced to Radioman Second Class (RM2). On 07 Nov 1941, RM2 Wells was transferred to the battleship USS Nevada (BB-36) for temporary duty. He returned to the Arizona on 17 Nov.

On the morning of 07 Dec 1941, the exact whereabouts of Petty Officer Wells during the attack on the Arizona is unknown. A muster report for the battleship USS Tennessee (BB-43) indicates that she had a number of Arizona crewman, including RM2 Wells, on board on 07 Dec. interestingly, the fairly detailed information recorded on the muster report was provided by the individuals listed and not obtained from their service records. There was no information provided by Petty Officer Wells except his rank that was recorded as RM3 vice the correct RM2. The muster report states that Wells was transferred to the Naval Hospital in Pearl Harbor for treatment indicating he was probably still alive but in serious condition if he could not provide even his service number for the report. There is a handwritten sentence that seems to indicate (written in a shorthand and hard to read.) an attempt was made to inquire about Wells as late as 5 Jan 1942.

Somehow, in the chaos that enveloped Pearl Harbor after the attack on 7 Dec., Petty Officer Wells died, possibly in the hospital, and his remains could not be identified. He was ultimately buried in a single grave in the Punchbowl Cemetery as an unknown. After the attack, Wells could not be accounted for and it was believed that he was lost on the Arizona and his remains were still on board. However, DNA provided by family members proved crucial in finally identifying the remains of this unknown buried at the Punchbowl Cemetery as those of RM2 Floyd Arthur Wells

Floyd was awarded (Posthumously) the Purple Heart, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Medal with one battle star, and the World War II Victory Medal.

Floyd's remains are being returned to North Dakota where he will be buried at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery at Mandan, North Dakota, on October 1, 2019, with full military honors.

[Bio #52 composed by Gerry Lawton (GML470)]

Honoree ID: 104223   Created by: MHOH




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