John Carson Cederstrom

Navy Badge
  • Name: John Carson Cederstrom
  • Location of Birth: Taconite, Minnesota
  • Date of Birth: November 25, 1915
  • Date of Death: July 24, 1981
  • Parents: John W. Cederstrom & Annie (Bjornson) Cederstrom
  • High School and Class: 1933 Greenway High School, Coleraine, Minnesota
  • College: 1935 Itasca Junior College, Coleraine, Minnesota
    1938 University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Highest Rank: LCDR (Lieutenant Commander
  • Branch: Navy
  • Other Branch:
  • Date Sworn In: November 24, 1940
  • Place Sworn In:
  • Date of Discharge: January 28, 1946
  • Place of Discharge:
  • Military Awards:

  • Military Highlights:
    WW II Draft Registration Cards – 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947
    State: Minnesota
    Name: John Carson Cederstrom
    Race: White
    Age: 24
    Birth Date: November 25, 1915
    Birth Place: Taconite, Minnesota, USA
    Residence Place: Marble, Itasca, Minnesota, USA
    Registration Date: October 16, 1940
    Employer: WPA Project Adult Education, Salter School, Duluth, St. Louis, Minnesota
    Weight: 140
    Height: 5-6
    Complexion: Ruddy
    Eye Color: Brown
    Hair Color: Brown
    Additional characteristic: mole on right cheek
    Next of Kin: John W. Cederstrom, father, Marble, Itasca, Minnesota

    Newspaper article: Itasca Iron News, Coleraine, Minnesota – 4 Dec 1941 – John Cedarstrom, who enlisted in the U.S. Navy last year, taking training at the Great Lakes Training School, is now in Honolulu, in the Torpedo Division. Cedarstrom graduated from University of Minnesota in 1938 and two years before that from Itasca Junior College in Coleraine. He was in charge of adult education in this school district for a year. He has the rank of Ensign in the Navy. A friend in Coleraine received recently the following interesting letter from him: “At Sea. Thurs., Nov. 13, 1941 – Dear Friend: After all this time I’ve finally been assigned to a ship. From the middle of June until the middle of October, I attended a torpedo school at Keyport, which is a torpedo station right outside Bremerton. For sixteen solid weeks I did nothing but study torpedo repair, and it proved to be amazingly fascinating. We tore down, built up, tore down, and rebuilt a poor old torpedo, circa 1918, until I believe I could do it with my eyes shut. Then, apparently having proved that we were satisfactory tinkers, we were sent out to the fleet. I think I got a fairly good assignment. The WHITNEY is a destroyer tender and spends most of her time in port overhauling torpedoes (of course the destroyers out here use a much later model torpedo than I studied, one that I’d never seen, in fact; but I don’t think it will take me long to get to know it.) I’ve been aboard nearly ten days now, some of that time at sea, engaging in maneuvers. So far, I haven’t done a great deal except get acquainted with the ship. But they’ve put me on watches as Jr. OOD since we’ve been at sea, so I imagine my duties will be pretty well arranged by the time we get back. After what people had told me about Hawaii I wasn’t as disappointed in it as I thought I’d be. I haven’t been ashore enough so that the natural beauty of the island has pulled on me, and I’m enjoying hugely the brilliant warm days and refreshingly cool nights. It’s true I haven’t seen any grass skirts yet (nor many skirts of any kind, frankly). One of the ensigns on board has a boat and I’ve already taken one postman’s holiday and gone sailing with him. There’s swimming, too, and Waikiki Beach is just as wonderful as everyone says it is, although it’s commonly referred to as Kikeiki Beach. On the whole, I think I’m going to like being here. It’s just a year ago now since I started on my apprentice-seaman cruise. It’s been a very eventful year, and I often wonder just what in the world I’m doing here. It’s quite a change from being a timid, staid middle-westerner. At any rate I know that next Thursday I’m going to be very thankful that I’m not going through Minnesota’s cold winter. Sincerely, Johnny Cedarstrom”

    Newspaper article: Itasca Iron News, Coleraine, Minnesota – 11 Dec 1941 – Three Western Mesaba Range boys are reported to have been at Pearl Harbor and Honolulu during Sunday’s Japanese onslaught in the Pacific. They are Robert McDowell, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. R. McDowell of Calumet, who was aboard the Oklahoma, reported sunk; John Cedarstrom of Marble, ensign stationed at Honolulu, a letter from whom was published last week in The Iron News; Herbert Hoshal of Calumet, Pearl Harbor; and Emil Shipka of Calumet, machinist mate on the U.S.S. Clark, a destroyer in the Pacific. Their fate is unknown until the Navy gives out the list of lost and rescued as a result of Sunday’s attack.

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota – 19 Dec 1941 –Ensign John Cederstrom, aboard a U.S. Navy ship somewhere in the Pacific, told, in a special delivery letter received by his father John Cederstrom, Monday, that he was safe and well, and that he had been in Pearl Harbor at the time of the bombing. He saw “plenty”, his letter said, but because of censorship, he could not go into detail. An insured package received Monday from Ensign Cederstrom by Ed. Brown contained a Hawaiian dancer’s costume, complete with a grass skirt, orange lei, ankle and hair decorations. This had been purchased while Ensign Cederstrom was on shore leave just before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, according to the date stamped on the package by the post office at Honolulu.

    Newspaper article: The Iron News, Coleraine, Minnesota – 25 Dec 1941 –Ensign John Cedarstrom, aboard the U.S. Navy ship somewhere in the Pacific told in a special delivery letter received Monday by his father, John Cedarstrom, Sr. of Marble, that he was safe and well and that he was in Pearl Harbor at the time of the bombing. He saw “plenty”, his letter said; but, because of censorship he could not go into details. An insured package was received Monday from Ensign Cedarstrom by Ed. Brown of Calumet. It contained a Hawaiian dancer’s costume, complete with a grass skirt, orange lei, ankle and hair decorations. The outfit was bought by Cedarstrom when he was on shore leave just before the bombing, as shown by the date stamped on the package by the post office in Honolulu.

  • Wars Involved:
    World War II

  • MIA / POW:

  • Civilian Life:
    John Cederstrom married Lucille Tucci in 1944 in California. He retired from the Navy in December 1953 at a LCDR (Lieutenant Commander).

    John Cederstrom died in Kern County, California. He is survived by his wife, Lucille, three daughters, Patricia Cedarstrom, Ruth Cedarstrom, and Mary (Tom) Soard; and two sisters, Mrs. Blanche Middleton and Mrs. Helen (Don) Edison.

  • Tribal Affiliation(s):