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Town of Canton >> Visitors >> Sight-Seeing >> Your Silent Neighbors >> Biographies

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Your Silent Neighbors

Take a tour through the past with “Your Silent Neighbors", which introduces readers to people out of Canton’s past.

Readers are encouraged to visit these grave sites and pay their respects to the people who have helped make our community what it is today. Any suggestions, questions, or corrections should be addressed to Deputy Town Historian David Leff at onktaadn@comcast.net.

Choose a name from the list to begin your journey into Canton's Past:


3/1/2019 - John K. Luntta

YOUR SILENT NEIGHBORS
by David K. Leff
Canton Town Historian

John K. Luntta, Aboard the USS Nevada at Pearl Harbor

On December 7, 1941, Canton’s John K. Luntta, seaman first class, was killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor while aboard the battleship USS Nevada. He was the first man in the Farmington Valley killed during the war.

Luntta grew up on East Hill where his father J. Einar Luntta, a native of Finland, was a farmer. Einar, described by the Farmington Valley Herald as “a direct-eyed, genial character,” was also a polisher in the Collins Company knife handling department and served on the Canton Board of Selectmen. John had left his Canton home shortly after enlisting in 1939, right after turning 18. His brothers Hans and Elmer were also in the Navy at Pearl Harbor during the attack. Their younger brother Eero would join the Navy at age 17 in 1943.

When word came of John’s death, Einar was worried that Hans might also have been killed since he was thought to be on the same ship. It wasn’t until late in February that an anxiety-ridden Einar received a letter from Hans indicating that he was well. Elmer, who was on shore duty, also sent a letter that buoyed his father’s spirits. Einar had last seen his three older boys in August 1941, after about a four year absence. With his youngest son, he traveled to California where John and Hans were on leave from Pearl Harbor. On his return trip he visited Washington where Elmer was attending military radio school.

John was interred at Nuuanu Cemetery in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1941. In 1947, his body was sent home. A military funeral was conducted by the Albert E. Johnson American Legion Post. John K. Luntta is listed among the casualties on a plaque at the National Park Service’s visitor center at Pearl Harbor.

John K. Luntta is buried in the Village Cemetery, Collinsville.


“Your Silent Neighbors” introduces readers to people out of Canton’s past. It will appear on the first and fifteenth of each month. Readers are encouraged to visit these gravesites and pay their respects to the people who have helped make our community what it is today. Any suggestions, questions, or corrections should be addressed to Town Historian David Leff at onktaadn@comcast.net



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Contact Us


Kathleen Taylor
Town Historian


David K. Leff
Deputy Town Historian


Office: (860) 693-5800(860) 693-5800(860) 693-5800Office: (860) 409-4205

Fax: (860) 693-5804(860) 693-5804(860) 693-5804Fax: (860) 693-0221

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Location: 40 Dyer Ave, Canton, CT 06019