By MC2 Laurie Dexter, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Hawaii
The ashes of Bugler Master Tech. Sgt. Allen Bodenlos, Pearl Harbor survivor, were scattered in the waters at the USS Utah Memorial on Ford Island, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, during a Jan. 6 ceremony.
Jim Taylor, Navy Region Hawaii Pearl Harbor survivors liaison, provided remarks. Gary Roehm, a friend of Bodenlos, told stories and Chaplain Maj. Kurt Mueller delivered the benediction.
“Al was known as a story-teller,” said Taylor. “He loved to tell students in San Diego schools and tourists here at the Arizona Memorial Center his memory of the attack on Pearl Harbor.”
Military honors included a gun salute and the presentation of the burial flag to the family by the Hawaii National Guard Military Honors Team.
“Al was a ‘Bugler Master,’ a title given to a chosen few,” said Taylor. “It was because of his expertise with the trumpet; he enjoyed teaching his subordinates.”
Taylor and Roehm regaled the audience with personal anecdotes of Bodenlos.
“It was truly an honor and a pleasure to know him,” said Roehm.
Bodenlos was born in Cleveland, Ohio on Aug. 13, 1920. He enlisted in the Army on July 9, 1940. He was assigned to the 804th Engineer Aviation Battalion at Schofield Barracks during the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.
The day before the attack, Bodenlos went shopping for instruments in Honolulu for the 804th New Drum and Bugle Corps with a friend from the USS Arizona Band.
The next morning, on Dec. 7, he witnessed the skies fill with enemy planes and black smoke rising from burning ships in the harbor. He boarded a shuttle and returned to Schofield Barracks.
Bodenlos was the company courier and delivered messages from the command post via a motorcycle to the airfields for the next two days.
“Al came to Hawaii at least two times a year and every time he was here he paid his respects at both the USS Arizona and USS Utah Memorials. This is why I thought it would be appropriate to have his service here at the Utah — he loved her and her crew and always made it a point to spend time here during his stay,” Taylor said.
“Tech Sgt. Bodenlos wanted to return to Pearl Harbor on a final voyage and be reunited with his fellow servicemen who lost their lives during the attack on Pearl Harbor,” said Taylor. “This morning, thanks to his friends and their families, his wish will come true.”