Claude E. ‘Stubby’ Nelson Jr.
Phoenix Fire, Engine 1
Last Alarm: Wednesday June 20th 1945, Okinawa, World War II
Died: Wednesday June 20th 1945
Age: 25 years old
Served for: 4 years
Cause: Machine gun fire (Mil KIA)
‘Hoseman’/ Firefighter Claude Nelson from Engine 1 is recognized as a fallen member, as he is the only active-duty Phoenix Firefighter known to be Killed in Action during a US Military deployment. Claude was in the Battle of Okinawa and was machine gunned by a hidden Japanese position.
‘Stubby’ was well known and loved, and following his death several fund raisers, sporting events and benefits were done in his name and honor.
Claude was born October 2nd 1919 in Kentucky and is buried at Greenwood Memorial, Phoenix next to his family, on the 27th Avenue entrance side, just north of the chapel building there. His grave is marked with a red cross during the annual Fallen Fire Fighter Memorials each January.
Claude was survived by his wife and children and we believe there is a son alive in California.
Greenwood Memorial, 719 N. 27th Ave 85009 entrance.
#2 Memorial Lawn, Block 3, Lot 24, Space 4.
(Northside of Chapel/Office, 7 North-5 West)