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George Buckendorf

George "Jack" Buckendorf

George Washington "Jack" Buckendorf, Jr., was born on August 19, 1909 in Bancroft, Bannock County, Idaho. He joined the Navy in 1927 when he was 18 years old.

Seaman Buckendorf, known as Buck by his shipmates, was serving aboard the USS Marblehead as a Chief Petty Officer when it was attacked on February 4, 1942. He suffered flash burns in his lungs and died at approximately 2200 hours on February 4, 1942 while the ship was steaming for Tjilatjap, Java. He was buried on Tjilatjap and later exhumed and re-buried in a cemetery near Los Angeles, California.

When Seaman Buckendorf was wounded and knew that he was dying, he asked a friend to tell his father that he had "no regrets and would do it all over again". The friend traveled to Colorado to deliver this message to the family. It gave everyone in the family great comfort.

Seaman Buckendorf was married on December 27, 1938 to Doris Cannon in Los Angeles, California. She had a son, Bobby, and Jack adopted him. He also had four brothers, four sisters, one half-brother, two stepbrothers and one stepsister. He was the eighth child of his mother.

Jack's mother, Amy Amelia Eaton-Buckendorf, died in 1913 with her tenth child. She was only 29, and Jack was only four years old. His father, George Washington Buckendorf, Sr., remarried to a widow, Minnie Kramer, who had three children. George and Minnie had a son together. Jack was raised with twelve siblings in Colorado on ranches and farms.

Jack had designs of being a "cowboy", like his brothers, or a boxer. However, he joined the Navy instead. He was a loved son, brother, uncle and cousin by his entire family. His place in life was sorely missed.

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