Birth and Early Life:
Eugene Brickley was born to Keith and Silvia Brickley of Fort Wayne, Indiana on May 28, 1922. The Brickley family relocated to Texas in the mid-1930s, and Eugene enlisted from there in 1940, shortly after his eighteenth birthday.
Enlistment and Boot Camp:
Brickley enlisted on July 31, 1940, and attended boot camp at MCRD San Diego. After completing his initial training, ‚??Brick‚?? was sent to the base Rifle Range, where he was under instruction as a marksmanship coach.
Private Brickley stayed at the San Diego range for several months before being reassigned. He joined the Marine detachment aboard the¬†USS¬†Arizona¬†in 1941. An athletic youth, he was a member of Arizona‚??s whaleboat rowing team, which defeated all challengers in 1941 until losing a championship race to rowers from the USS Pennsylvania.
The 1941 whaleboat rowing team. ‚??Brick‚?? is to the left of ‚??Pop‚?? in the rear row. Only two members of the team survived the sinking of the Arizona.
In a nod to his former duty as an instructor, Brick was also a member of the Arizona‚??s¬†competitive rifle and pistol marksmanship team.
Date Of Loss:
Private Brickley was killed on December 7, 1941, when the Arizona¬†was sunk at Pearl Harbor.
Next Of Kin:
Mother, Mrs. Sylvia Brickley
To add to Mrs. Brickley‚??s woes, a government snafu the following year caused quite an upset. The story was picked up by Walter Winchell‚??s syndicated column in 1942.
Tucson Daily Citizen, June 6, 1942.
Status Of Remains:
Lost at sea.
Tablets of the Missing, National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. USS Arizona Memorial.