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First Name: Walter

Last Name: Backman

Birthplace: Wilton, ND, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)

Rating: Radioman Petty Officer 2nd Class

Middle Name: Howard

Date of Birth: 29 April 1919

Date of Death: 07 December 1943

Rank or Rate: Petty Officer Second Class

Years Served:
Walter Howard Backman

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Walter Howard Backman
RM2, U.S. Navy
World War II

Walter Howard Backman was born on 29 April 1919 in Wilton, ND. He was the son of August Ferdinand and Beatrice M. (Pope) Backman.

Military Service

On 7 December 1941, during the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, HI, RM2c Walter H. Backman was on duty in the radio compartment of the USS Oklahoma (BB-37) when it was hit by a great number of Japanese Type 91 aerial torpedoes. The Oklahoma capsized approximately 12 minutes after the first torpedo hit. According to a survivor from the USS West Virginia, which was anchored next to the Oklahoma: "Let me assure you that the radio compartment (where Walter worked) was immediately submerged and the men could not have lived more than a half-hour."

On 25 May 1943, Walter was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart.

Death and Burial

RM2 Walter Howard Backman was killed in action on 7 December 1943. His body was never recovered and remains with the USS Oklahoma. His name is inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, HI.

Honoree ID: 2104   Created by: MHOH




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