Earl Paul Baum
January 7, 1922 – December 7, 1941
Seaman First Class Earl Paul Baum was killed in action on December 7, 1941, when the battleship USS Oklahoma was attacked on the US Navy Base at Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii. He was almost 20 years old.
Earl was born in Chicago, IL on January 7, 1922 to Emma and Emile Baum. He bravely served our country enlisting in the US Navy at the age of 18. He was serving on the USS Oklahoma as a printer and part of the repair crew to remove wreckage in time of battle.
The Oklahoma was struck by seven torpedoes, capsizing and sinking within ten minutes. 429 sailors and marines perished, from a total crew of 1353. Recovery of their remains could occur only when the ship was being salvaged and righted in 1944. Earl was one of the more than 400 unidentified sailors interred together in 52 graves, and ultimately removed to The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) located in Honolulu, Hawaii. In 2015, the Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency began exhuming the remains of the unidentified sailors and marines of the USS Oklahoma in order to perform DNA analyses and attempt to give their families some closure.
After having received DNA in 2012 from May Gresh, Gloria Yauch and Emily Golz, Earl’s sisters, he was positively identified on September 21, 2018 which coincidentally was his mother’s birthday. After his parents and siblings sought to find him for 77 years, Earl was finally found.
Earl is survived by his sisters Emily Golz of Tallahassee and May Gresh of Seminole FL, as well as twelve nieces and nephews, and numerous great and great great nieces and nephews. His parents, his brother Alver Baum and his sister Gloria Yauch passed away before his remains were identified.
In early March, Earl will be received by his family at the Tallahassee International Airport. He will be honored for his sacrifice during a funeral service at the Tallahassee National Cemetery on Friday, March 8, 2019 beginning at 2pm. Friends and guests of the family are asked to arrive by 1:00pm. The public is invited to attend.
The family is sincerely grateful to the US Navy and the Tallahassee National Cemetery for their steady support and persistent efforts.
The caring professionals of Culley’s MeadowWood Funeral Home are honored to serve the Baum family.
Burial with Military Honors
Tallahassee National Cemetery
5015 Apalachee Pkwy
Earl Paul Baum
February 17, 2019
I’m so sorry to everybody in Mr. Baum’s family. The grief of not having his remains for so many years had to be difficult. I’m glad you were finally able to bring him home. My father suffered a severe head injury in a battle at Leyte, but at least he came home. Even though all soldiers have a place in my heart, the WWII soldiers were special to me. May God bless all of you.