The Battleship Missouri Memorial is open Tues-Sat from 8am to 4pm, the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum Tues-Sun from 9am to 4pm, and the Pacific Fleet Submarine Museum is open daily from 8am to 4pm.

Tepper’s Legacy

by Nov 05, 2019

Saul Tepper was a native New Yorker, born on the Lower East Side, a Jewish immigrant's son.

He started young, worked hard, and went to school nights, owning his own art studio at 19, becoming a notable and successful illustrator during the golden age of the profession. His works appeared in major publications and advertising, and in war-time government media.

Saul was also a musician. He had a booming baritone voice. He was also a songwriter and composer, his works recorded by Glenn Miller, Harry James, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole among others.

“LOOSE LIPS SINK SHIPS” wartime public service promotional art by Saul Tepper, commissioned by the Stetson Hat Company in 1944.

Saul’s son Albert was just turned 21 when he joined the Navy in 1942, shortly after the December 7th attack.

Albert Tepper was a USS Missouri “Plank owner”, Musician 1st Class, and the musical arranger for the ship’s band.

In the evening, depending on wartime conditions, Tepper might be found working out musical arrangements on the piano in the recreation area aft of the crew’s mess decks, his shipmates often gathering around to listen.

Like his father, Albert Tepper was born in Manhattan, in 1921, his mother’s name was Beatrice Lindenburg.

Albert Tepper served aboard the battleship Missouri until war’s end, a witness to war in the Pacific and the Surrender of Japan in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945.

After the war, like many of his fellow veterans, Albert Tepper resumed his education when he returned home, following in his father’s musical footsteps, earning degrees in Music from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. In 1950 he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship. In 1952 he joined the Music Department of Hofstra University, eventually becoming Chair of the Music Department. He retired in 1987, the same year that his father died.

When Albert Tepper passed away in California in 2011, his ashes were scattered at sea off of Long Beach and Hofstra University’s Music Department arranged a concert in his memory, performing selections of Tepper’s music, along with remembrances from family, friends and colleagues. The Albert Tepper Scholarship fund was created in his honor.

We remember.

Musician First Class Albert Tepper works out a musical arrangement for the ship's band aboard USS Missouri during WWII. National Archives photo.