Skip to main content

Minnesota Pearl Harbor survivor dies

  • Author:
  • Updated:

A Minnesota Pearl Harbor survivor has died, the St. Cloud Times reports. Ralph Krafnick, 95, of St. Cloud, died Sunday after struggling with dementia and heart problems his wife, Dolores Barbarossa-Krafnick, told the newspaper.

Krafnick was 24 and stationed on the USS New Orleans in Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked, the newspaper reported. He had been preparing to play in a baseball game. He shared his story in an account he gave in 2007.

Krafnick would be remembered as a historical figure, said Steve Hennes, retired director of the Whitney Senior Center, where Krafnick had lectured.

Survivors of Pearl Harbor are fewer and fewer in number. The Pearl Harbor Survivors Association disbanded in 2011, due to declining membership, the New York Times reported. The group started in 1958 with 28,000, which had dwindled in September 2011 in 2,700, many of them in failing health.

Only a very few Pearl Harbor survivors are left in Minnesota. Just three attended a gathering in St. Paul to mark the 70th anniversary in 2011, MPR reported.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 5.46.37 PM

Video shows officers ended pursuit before fatal crash in Anoka

The crash occurred when the driver fled police during an attempted traffic stop in Coon Rapids.

Eli Hart

6-year-old Eli Hart identified as boy found dead in car trunk

The kindergartner's father was trying to get full custody of his son.


Boy found dead in trunk of car in Mound was kindergartner

"It is horrifying and difficult to process a tragedy of this magnitude, especially in our close-knit community," the superintendent wrote.

Minneapolis police

Man found yelling for help after being shot in Minneapolis

The shooting occurred on the 800 block of Elwood Avenue North at around 9:15 p.m.

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 9.56.21 AM

Minneapolis North principal says she was fired, district says otherwise

“MPS requires schools to follow protocols in times like that and I did not,” Friestleben said.

Kris Richard Severin

Inmate who escaped Minnesota prison is captured

The inmate escaped Wednesday morning.

Brave New Comedy Workshop in downtown Minneapolis.

Brave New Workshop cancels shows due to COVID-19 cases

The shows were scheduled for Friday and Saturday at the Brave New Workshop Comedy Theatre.

Austin Retterath

Body of missing U of M student found in Mississippi River

Austin Retterath was last seen alive in the morning hours of May 8.

"Love" mural seen in St. Paul.

Summer mural events to bring together community, shine light on MN artists

The 2022 Chroma Zone Mural & Art Festival will take place this weekend in St. Paul's Creative Enterprise Zone, with ensuing events happening this summer.


Gallery: Remodeled lakeside home in Prior Lake on market for $2.8M

It offers privacy at the end of a dead-end road fronting onto Lower Prior Lake.

golden valley police department

Carjacking outside ice arena in Golden Valley under investigation

Golden Valley PD confirmed it received a report of a carjacking Monday evening.


Minnesota survivor returning to Pearl Harbor to mark 70th anniversary

December 7, 1941, is a day that lives in infamy but it's also the day that made a man out of Ernie Mattson. That's what the 96-year-old Bloomington man says of the day he took cover aboard the USS Nevada and waited out a half-hour barrage of bombs.

Minnesotans mark 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack

The surprise attack killed 2,403 Americans and wounded 1,178 others.