History of the  West Park
Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio

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Hyde stone
Arthur J. Hyde's stone in Alger Cemetery

Arthur J. Hyde

Beyond the Call of Duty: A Patriot's Grave

By Gary Swilik

Additional research by Charles C. Chaney

Arthur J. Hyde's gravestone is located in Alger Cemetery. He may or may not lie beneath it. He served as lieutenant commander in the navy during World War I and retired to civilian life. When Pearl Harbor was attacked many years later in 1941, Arthur was not content to leave the fight in younger hands. Then seventy-years-old, he tried unsuccessfully to re-enlist in the U. S. Navy. In October 1942, he finally found a position as third-engineer on the U.S. freighter Norwalk, a merchant ship sailing the Atlantic.

On January 10, 1943, the Norwalk collided with Norwegian freighter Nidareid in the Gulf of Mexico and sank in over 600 feet of water. According to a Cleveland newspaper the Norwalk had been running without lights to avoid attack when the accident occurred. (Other reports make no mention of this.)

Arthur J. Hyde was the only member of the thirty-man crew to lose his life. His name is inscribed on the honor roll at the War Memorial Fountain on the Mall in downtown Cleveland.

It's something of a mystery why Alger Cemetery was chosen as Arthur's final resting place. At various times he and his wife Cecelia lived in Cleveland but nothing has been found linking them to the West Park neighborhood. At the time of her husband's death, Mrs. Hyde apparently lived in Florida. She was a native of New York.

In fact, the United States was Arthur's adopted country. He was born in Canada in 1872 and came to the U.S. with his parents in 1878. In civilian life he worked as a marine engineer and insurance inspector.

Arthur's headstone may stand over an empty grave. Cemetery records do not tell us if his body was ever recovered. Go to the southwest corner of Alger Cemetery at Bradgate Avenue. Walk north along the western perimeter beside the fence. You will soon come upon the marker for this brave man, a veteran of World War I who died-in-action in World War II.

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Updated 15 August 2014