Santa Clarita War Memorial

Perry Leon Cherry

Home of Record: Newhall
Date of Birth: July 8, 1925
Birthplace: Kansas
High School: San Fernando

Service: United States Navy
Rank: Seaman 2nd Class
ID No: 3816051 (XC-3618457?)
Length of Service: 1 year, 9 months
Unit: (U.S.S. Thatcher)
Start Tour: Entered Navy Sept. 16, 1942

Incident Date: May 26, 1944
Casualty Date: KIA May 26, 1944
Age at Loss: 19
Location: Marshall Islands
Remains: Burial at sea(?); headstone or cenotaph at Inglewood Park Cemetery (Calif.)

Narrative: S2C Perry Leon Cherry of Newhall served aboard the U.S.S. Thatcher in the South Pacific and Central Pacific. While in the Central Pacific at the Marshall Islands at age 19, was killed in a gunnery accident in performance of his duty. He was likely buried at sea in the Pacific Ocean.

Notes: Perry Leon Cherry (who went by Leon) was born in 1925 to John Franklin Cherry (1877-1951) and Maggie Mae Harris (1888-1961) of Kansas. The 1930 U.S. Census shows him living with his parents and siblings in Neosho, Labette County, Kans. According to The Newhall Signal newspaper, the family moved to Newhall in 1938. The 1940 U.S. Census shows John (age 61) and Maggie (age 52) living on Highway 99. John Cherry is listed as "stockman - dairy." Their next-door neighbor is Glen Arvis Irwin, a dairy farm manager, at 18912 Highway 99. According to a 1947 publication of the California Department of Agriculture, this was the local address of Newhall Dairy Farms.

Perry (Leon's) brother John Cherry (Jr.) enlisted in the Army in Los Angeles in 1941. Perry (Leon) joined the Navy in 1942 at age 17. By 1944, the parents were living at 3200½ W. 109th Street in Inglewood, Calif. The 1946 San Fernando High School yearbook shows Perry (Leon) in a compilation of war veterans and casualties (photo shown here). In 1948 his mother, now living in Hawthorne, provides Perry (Leon's) vital information in an application for a flat granite marker at Inglewood Park Cemetery, which she filed with the Office of the Quartermaster General in Washington, D.C. It is unknown whether this was a headstone (with underlying remains) or a cenotaph (no remains).

Research by Tricia Lemon Putnam. Data source: State Summary of War Casualties from World War II for Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Personnel [Archival Research Catalog]; Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Record Group 24; National Archives at College Park, College Park, MD.

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