Arizona's war dead

The price of democracy

The Arizona Republic
May 31, 1999

When the family of Pfc. Solamgary Tohtieff of Globe got word that their son died fighting the Great War in France, they learned he was one of the very last of the millions to perish: on Nov. 11, 1918. Armistice Day.

Of the 127 young Arizonans killed in that terrible conflict, the majority died within weeks or days of the war's end.

Such is the remorseless cruelty of war.

In honor of all Arizonans who risked - and gave - their lives in service to their country, as well as in tribute to their families, The Arizona Republic celebrates Memorial Day 1999 by listing the more than 3,000 Arizona soldiers and sailors who died in the four great conflicts the United States fought in the 20th century - World Wars I and II, Korea and Vietnam, as well as Desert Storm, in which five Arizonans, including one woman, died.

We regret that the constraints of time and the diversity of information sources did not allow us to include the many soldiers who died in the numerous military engagements between wars. Time did not allow us to include much valuable information, such as rank, branch of service or dates of birth or death.

Nevertheless, this list appears to be the first ever compiled of Arizona's war dead. While extraordinary care has been taken to include all the names of Arizona war dead, we acknowledge the inevitability of error, and hereby vow to print a list of any verifiable war dead who may have been left off inadvertently.

In many respects, the awful, indiscriminate chaos of war makes compiling a genuinely complete list almost impossible. This list, for example, does not include the dozens of Arizona doughboys who died of disease during the first war in Europe.

Where available, we have included the soldier's hometown.

For their assistance in compiling these lists, we would like to thank the staff of U.S. Rep. Bob Stump, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, particularly aides Lisa Jackson and Carl Commentator. We also would like to thank the staff of the Arizona Military Museum, 5636 E. McDowell Road, Phoenix.

Several of these lists - particularly the U.S. Army's World War II list - resisted modern technology's capacity to scan printed material into databases. For their invaluable secretarial skills, we thank Republic editorial staff Kim Meader and Penny Nichols. And for her multi-tasking computer dexterity, we thank Jo Durazo-Garcia of The Republic newsroom.

Names of Arizona's war dead:

  • World War I

  • World War II, Army

  • World War II, Navy

  • Korea

  • Vietnam

  • Desert Storm

    Copyright 1999, Arizona Central
    The online news and information service of The Arizona Republic