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Highlighting the World Wars I & II Memorabilia Collection of Dave Sleeper

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Luke, Vernon T.


Rank: Machist's Mate First Class
Serial Number: 3851099
Military Branch: USS Oklahoma, BB-37
Origin: Wisconsin
Date of Death: 1941-12-7
Punch Bowl National Cemetery
Featured: No

Vernon Thomas Luke was born August 22, 1898 in Green Ba, Wisconsin to parents Samuel and Katherine. He was the oldest of five children. He served in the Army for a short time during WW1, although there are no records to support this. He enlisted in the Navy in Seattle on August 4, 1919, He was a MM2C and served on several ships for a period of 3 years. He reenlisted in Seattle on October 12, 1922 for a period of four years. In October, 1925, he changed his beneficiary to his wife June Coates. That document shows he had a child, June Mary. On November 18, 1925 he was issued a permanent appointment as MM1C. On October 12, 1926, he was honorably discharged. It appears he ran a car service garage in Turlock, California and then in 1940 applied for reenlistment in the Reserves. He was inducted December 30, 1940 in San Francisco. He was subsequently assigned to the USS Oklahoma, on February 19, 1941, which was sunk in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 with a loss of life of 429 Marines and Sailors.

Vernon's group includes his officially engraved 1926 Navy Good Conduct medal, his Navy Type 1 officially engraved Purple Heart, made by the US Mint, and its purple presentation case, plus copies of his official files from St. Louis and  internet research.