Adkins, Howard Lucas, F1c

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Fireman First Class
Last Primary NEC
F1c-0000-Fireman 1st Class
Last Rating/NEC Group
Fireman First Class
Primary Unit
1940-1941, F1c-0000, USS California (BB-44)
Service Years
1940 - 1941
Fireman First Class

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
West Virginia
West Virginia
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Felix Cervantes, III (Admiral Ese), BM2 to remember Adkins, Howard Lucas, F1c.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Goodwill, WV
Last Address
Not Specified

Casualty Date
Dec 07, 1941
KIA-Killed in Action
Other Explosive Device
World War II
Location of Interment
Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial - Honolulu, Hawaii
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Court 5 (Cenotaph)
Military Service Number
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

Pearl Harbor Memorial Medallion

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
Pearl Harbor FallenWorld War II FallenUnited States Navy Memorial The National Gold Star Family Registry
WWII Memorial National RegistryStories Behind The Stars
  1941, Pearl Harbor Fallen
  1941, World War II Fallen
  2016, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
  2016, The National Gold Star Family Registry
  2016, WWII Memorial National Registry - Assoc. Page
  2021, Stories Behind The Stars - Assoc. Page

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 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
US Navy
  1940-1941, F1c-0000, USS California (BB-44)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1941 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Attack on Pearl Harbor
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

On 7 December 1941 USS CALIFORNIA was moored at the southernmost berth of "Battleship Row" and was with other dreadnoughts of the Battle Force when the Japanese launched their aerial attack. As she was about to undergo a material inspection, watertight integrity was not at its maximum; consequently the ship suffered great damage when hit. At 0805 a bomb exploded below decks, setting off an antiaircraft ammunition magazine and killing about 50 men. A second bomb ruptured her bow plates. Despite valiant efforts to keep her afloat the inrushing water could not be isolated and CALIFORNIA settled into the mud with only her superstructure remaining above the surface. When the action ended, 98 of her crew were lost and 61 wounded.

F1C (E-4) Howard L. Adkins was report as "Missing in Action" on December 7, 1941, during the attack on Pearl Harbor and his body was never recovered.  He was stationed on board the USS California BB-44.

Fireman First Class (F1c) Howard Lucas Adkins, United States Navy. Service Number: 2661932
Early Life
Howard Lucas Adkins was born on 3 December 1921 in Goodwill, Mercer County, West Virginia. His father, Thomas Morris Adkins, born 22 May 1891 in Virginia, died 27 July 1972 in Mercer County, West Virginia, was a Coal Miner. His mother, Beulah Virgie Gold was born on 17 July 1900 in Smythe County, Virginia and died on 3 January 1961 in Goodwill, Mercer County, West Virginia. Howard’s parents were married on 19 March 1914 in Tazewell County, Virginia. Howard was the third of five children in the family; he had an older brother, an older sister, a younger brother and a  younger sister.
Howard Lucas Adkins enlisted in the Navy from West Virginia. After boot camp and additional follow-on training, he was ultimately assigned to the USS California (BB-44) which was stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
On the morning of 7 December 1941, the battleship USS California (BB-44) was moored at the southernmost berth in Pearl Harbor’s battleship row. Minutes into the attack, two torpedoes burst through the hull in different locations under the armored belt on the port side. Seawater quickly rushed in and mixed with fuel oil, which caused equipment issues and power failures. After this, a bomb exploded off the port bow. She began to go down by the bow. Her crew counter flooded which minimized her list. Another bomb hit, this time on the upper deck. It got through to the second deck and started a fire. By sheer determination, her crew managed to get power restored. Burning fuel oil approached the ship, and she was ordered abandoned. When the attack was over, 98 men from the California had been killed. Out of the 15 Medals of Honor that were awarded from Pearl Harbor, 4 of them were awarded to men from the USS California.
Death and Burial
Howard Lucas Adkins was declared Missing in Action, Lost At Sea, Non Recoverable (Killed in Action) on 7 December 1941 aboard the USS California during the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart Medal. He was memorialized on the Honolulu Memorial (Courts of the Missing) at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii.
This story was written by Robert J. “Red” Mulvanny, U.S. Navy (Retired), and is part of the Stories Behind the Stars project (see This is a national effort of volunteers to write the stories of all 400,000+ of the US WWII fallen here on TWS. Can you help write these stories? Related to this, there will be a smartphone app that will allow people to visit any war memorial or cemetery, scan the fallen's name and read his/her story." If you noticed anything missing in this profile, you may contact the author by clicking on this link: (Mulvanny, Robert (Red) (SBTS Historian), CDR)
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