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Fred Joseph Kirschbaum

Fred Joseph Kirschbaum 


Rank/Rate Electrician's Mate, First Class
Service Number 223 59 97
Birth Date August 15, 1918
From Auburn, New York
Decorations Purple Heart
Submarine USS Pompano (SS-181)
Loss Date September 17, 1943
Location Off the northeast coast of Honshu, Japan
Circumstances Lost at sea, cause unknown
Remarks Fred Joseph Kirschbaum was born in Schenectady, New York, and grew up in Yonkers, before taking a job after high school as an electrician's apprentice in Auburn in upstate New York.  Fred became active in Salvation Army youth programs and even joined the brass band.

In the fall of 1939 Fred joined the Navy, continuing his occupation as an electrician, and by the summer of 1940 he was stationed as an electrician's mate on the submarine USS Pompano. Fred was onboard the Pompano when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, and he served on all seven of the vessel's war patrols.

When the Pompano returned to Mare Island for a complete overhaul in December 1942, Fred and Elizabeth Zeigler, his sweetheart from Elmira, New York, were married in Reno on December 9th by Salvation Army Captain Victor Newbould.
They spent the next two weeks honeymooning in San Francisco.  Despite historical reports that Pompano set sail for Hawaii on December 18th or 19th, Pompano's Commanding Officer, CDR W. M. Thomas, was determined that his men would spend Christmas with friends and family.
He even personally delivered a turkey to Fred and on Christmas Eve Fred brought the turkey home to his apartment in San Francisco for Elizabeth to prepare for Christmas dinner.

Fred and Elizabeth said their good-byes on December 27th and wrote letters to each other for eight months as married sweethearts. They never saw each other again.

Photo, information, and remarks courtesy of Randy Kinnamon (son of Fred Kirschbaum's widow).


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  Kirschbaum, Fred Joseph 

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