Biography of Alvin Albert Dvorak

US flag

Alvin Albert Dvorak

US Navy, USS Arizona

BM2c, Service No. 328-51-60

Research done by Al Johnson, member of the Pine County Genealogical Society.  Al had the opportunity to attend the 73rd Anniversary Reunion at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 2014.

Alvin Albert Dvorak was a Pine County sailor who lost his life in December 1941 in the Pearl Harbor attack.

     

                                                                      Alvin Albert Dvorak

                                                                                               

Alvin Albert Dvorak was born on April 3, 1918 in Tripp County, South Dakota to Emma (Mach) Dvorak and Joseph T. Dvorak.  Unfortunately, Alvin’s father, Joseph, died on 13 January  1919, and his mother, Emma, died 4 days later on January 17th, both of Spanish flu when Alvin was only 9 month old. 

 Alvin went to live in Park Township, Pine County, Minnesota, near Bruno with his mother’s sister and husband, Mary R. (Mach) and Joseph Kvasnicka.  While his older sister, Harriet, (Hattie) and older brother, Arthur, went to live with their grandparents, John and Barbara Mach, also living in Park Township.  Between the 1920 census and the 1930 census, Alvin went to live with his grandparents too. 

 Alvin attended Pleasant Hill School near Bruno with five other students.  Alvin was probably a good student as he had perfect attendance in 1931 when he was in eighth grade, which was his last year of school.  Alvin and his five classmates made the front page of the Askov American for his and two other students perfect attendance.  Interestingly, four of Alvin’s five classmates were also his cousins. 

 The newspaper picture is the only known picture of Alvin.  It is unknown how long Alvin stayed with his grandparents, but, in 1937 he was living in Stillwater when he applied to join the Navy on 12 November 1937 in Minneapolis, MN and his guardian, Casper Heaser (brother-in-law) signed for him. 

 He was accepted and inducted into the Navy on 2 March 1938, in Minneapolis.  At the time, he was 5’8¼” tall and weighed 162 pounds and had brown hair and blue eyes.   He reported on board the USS Arizona on July 9, 1938.  Alvin progressed in rank from Seaman 2nd class, to Coxswain, to Boatswain Mate 3rd Class and finally to Boatswain Mate 2nd Class prior to December 7th.  After escape from the USS Arizona, Alvin was transferred to the USS Solace, a hospital ship.  He was transferred to the USAT Coolidge, an Army Troop carrier,  for transport to US Naval Hospital at Mare Island in San Francisco Bay.  Unfortunately, Alvin died from his injuries on Christmas Eve Day, December 24, while in transit.  His body was claimed by Casper Heaser, his brother-in-law, in Minneapolis and was buried at Fort Snelling National Cemetery on New Year’s Day 1942.  

He was survived by his brother, Arthur A Dvorak, and his sister Harriet (Dvorak) Heaser.  Alvin’s first cousin - once removed, Greg Kvasnicka, still lives on the farm outside of Buno where Alvin was raised. 

USS Arizona

USS Arizona

USS Arizona attacked
December 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor Attack

USS Arizona memorial aerial view
USS Arizona memorial  aerial view

USS Memorial
USS Arizona Memorial Pearl Harbor


View Alvin Albert Dvorak's memorial on Findagrave