January 27, 1922 (Connecticut) – December 7, 1941; 19 years old; unmarried
Mother listed at 117 Grant Street, Bridgeport
Enlisted on October 15, 1940
Service number 2072963
USS ARIZONA (BB-39)
Received the Purple Heart Medal. In the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor.
Attended Harding High School in Bridgeport. Like Stanley Orzech and Mike Quarto, he enlisted on October 15, 1940 and records show he arrived aboard the USS Arizona on December 10, 1940 – a short seven weeks after enlisting.
Bridgeport Post March 1, 1942
Hopes to avenge brother’s death
Michael Povesko permitted to join Navy despite physical defect
For four years Michael Povesko, now 26 years old, tried to join the Navy but they said “No” because he had a slight physical defect. A younger brother, George, however, was more successful and did get in. He was in the thick of things as the Japs took that infamous sucker shot. Michael was disconsolate and hope to avenge the death of his brother, who never had a chance. He told the Navy about it. And today, he is on his way to the Navy Training Station as word had been received from the Navy Department in Washington that he will get a chance for that vengeance as they waived the physical defect in his behalf. Michael Povesko, son of Mrs. Elizabeth Povesko of 117 Grant Street, went to Barnum School in his younger days and was employed at Remington Arms when notified that he was accepted. His brother George, who had been a pupil at Warren Harding High School, when he joined the Navy, was a Seaman First Class., at the time of his death. He was 19 years old at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack. (Article provided by Elizabeth Van Tuyl, Bridgeport History Center)
From the Bridgeport Post May 31, 1942; provided by the Bridgeport Public Library
Sailors Died in Action
Sailors, too, have played an important part in the conflict and several among htem who are from this city have made the supreme sacrifice, a sacrifice which has brought others into the folds as members of the armed forces. Take the case of George Povesko who was killed at Pearl Harbor on December 7. He was a pupil at Warren Harding High School when he joined the Navy and was a seaman first class at the time of his death. He was only 19 years old when Pearl Harbor was attacked. There the story might have ended but George had brothers who also had the fighting spirit. Michael, his 26-year-old brother, tried to get into the armed forces for four years. He was rejected because of a slight physical defect. However, now he really had something to fight for and the Navy must listen to his plea. For every man who dies, another must fill his ranks and Michael wanted to fill the space left open by his brother. Finally, on March 1, the Navy let down the barriers and today, another son of Mrs. Elizabeth Povesko, now a Gold Star mother, of 117 Grant Street, is serving Uncle Sam as a Navy man. His whereabouts are a military secret but it goes without saying that he, too, will give a good account of himself.
Bridgeport Telegram December 5, 1957
Memorial to honor ship dead; Bridgeporter was on Arizona
Sixteen years ago on December 7, 1941, a Japanese aerial armada roared in and laid waste to the United States’ big Pearl Harbor naval base. George Povesko, son of Mrs. Elizabeth Povesko, of 117 Grant Street, serving aboard the USS Arizona as a Seaman First Class, was among the 1102 persons who perished as the battleship sank. He was 19 years old and had attended Harding High School prior to enlisting in the Navy. The sinking of the Arizona was, for the U.S., the war’s biggest single tragedy. The bodies of many of those who died, including 24 New Englanders, still rest in the shattered, rusting hulk at the bottom of the harbor, their graves unmarked except for a crude wooden platform supporting a flagpole and a plaque. A color guard daily raises and lowers the national ensign, because the ship still is in commission, technically. But, belatedly, something is about to be done about it. On Saturday December 7, a campaign will be launched to raise $500,000 to encase the Arizona in steel and concrete, as a permanent memorial. The venture, sponsored by the Pacific War Memorial Commission of Honolulu, has the blessing of Admiral Arleigh Burke, Chief of Naval Operations: “I wish nothing but success to those engaged in this memorial effort.” Connecticut servicemen listed in the Arizona’s casualty list include: William T. O’Neill Jr, Glenbrook; Harry L. Carlson, Norwich; Henry J. Lanouette, Wallingford; Stanislaus J. Orzech, Meriden; Richard Patterson Jr., Berlin; Mike J. Quarto, Norwich; William E. Seely, Groton, and Ensign Ulmont I. Whitehead, Hartford. (Article provided by Elizabeth Van Tuyl, Bridgeport History Center)
Bridgeport Post December 28, 1958
War memorial to honor dead entombed in sunken Arizona
The memory of a Bridgeport sailor – George Povesko – entombed with 1,101 of his Navy and Marine Corps shipmates aboard the sunken battleship the USS Arizona, is to be preserved for posterity. Congress this year authorized the establishment of a permanent memorial to the men who gave their lives at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. This memorial will be located on the hulk of the famed battle-wagon resting on the bottom of Pearl Harbor. A nation-wide program to raise a $2-million fund to provide the memorial was launched December 3 at Tucson, Arizona, and much newspaper, radio and TV space has been given to informing the public of the drive. Mayor Samuel Tedesco proclaimed this past week as “USS Arizona Week” and in a ceremony at City Hall he received the gift of a model of the battleship from Mrs. Michael Tomchik of 751 Ogden Street, the former Anna Povesko, sister of the entombed Bridgeporter. The arrangements had been made through the local Navy recruiting office and one of its staff, Chief Quartermaster Harry J. Lemkey was present for the ceremony. The model had been assembled by Arthur Gaines, 12, of the North End Boys’ Club. Donations may be sent to USS Arizona Memorial Fund at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Seaman 1/C Povesko was born in Bridgeport and left his studies at Harding High School upon reaching 17 in January 1941 to enlist for a “minority cruise” with the Navy. His family had received Christmas cards and letters indicating that he planned to get leave and be home for Christmas in 1941 but like many others, never made it. He was one of nine Connecticut men who died aboard the USS Arizona. The other Fairfield County resident was Ensign William T. O’Neill Jr., of Stanley Road, Glenbrook district, Stamford. Others of the state were: Ensign Ulmont I. Whitehead of Hartford, Harry L. Carlson, Storekeeper 3/C and Mike J. Quarto, Seaman 1/C, both of Norwich; Stanislaus J. Orzech, Seaman 2/C of Meriden; Henry J. Lanouette, Coxswain, of Wallingford; Richard Patterson Jr., Shipfitter 3/C of Berlin, and William E. Seely, Seaman 1/C of Groton. Povesko’s parents were George and Elizabeth Povesko of 117 Grant Street. Both are now deceased. He had four sisters and a brother. They are Mrs. Harry (Pauline) Blonski of 27 Mead Street, who was unmarried and living at home at the time; Mrs. Joseph (Mary) Salamon of 1057 Briarwood Avenue; Mrs. Helen Yansick of 606 Trumbull Avenue. (Article provided by Elizabeth Van Tuyl, Bridgeport History Center)
USS Arizona Memorial
Memorialized Courts of the Missing, Court 1, Honolulu Memorial, 2177 Puowaina Drive, Hawaii
Memorial marker at Lakeview Cemetery, 885 Boston Ave, Bridgeport, CT, Sunnyslope Section, Tier 4, Grave 66