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Who was Silas Wainwright?

Silas was born Jun 22, 1915 in the town of Macomb, NY to Weldon and Rachel Ingram Wainwright and had 10 brother and sisters. He was very involved in high school, his two favorite activities were football and French club. Upon graduating from high school he worked on the family farm until Oct 1935 when he was sworn in to the US Navy in Albany. He then did a 3 month boot camp at Newport, Rhode Island.

Silas first wanted to be a doctor for the Navy but later changed his goals and became an X-ray technician. During his first enlistment Silas attended many different schools and ended up being stationed on the West Coast.

On March 3, 1941, with the rank of Pharmacist Mate First Class, Silas was assigned to the USS Arizona and was aboard the ship that fateful day of December 7, 1941 when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.

Silas along with many others who were aboard the ship that day perished when the Arizona was struck with a torpedo dropped by the Japanese. Silas was the first area resident to be a casualty of WWII.

Silas still has many family members who are knowledgeable of him with many stories that I’m sure they would be happy to share, one of those family members is our Assistant Quarter Master, Michael Webster who was a nephew to Silas.

Each year at the Silas Wainwright Post, we have our annual Pearl Harbor observance ceremony that everyone is welcome to attend.

So when you hear the name “Silas Wainwright VFW Post 6338” you will know that that was not just a name pulled out of the air, but is a name that belonged to a man who along with his family had and still has strong ties to our community.

If you ever find yourself going to Oahu, HI try to plan a day to visit the Arizona where you will find Silas’ name inside the memorial.


The information for this story was found in an article from the Gouverneur Tribune Press dated Dec. 11 2003.

Click here to open a copy of the original newspaper article.

Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States

Silas Wainwright VFW Post 6338, Gouverneur, NY 13642

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