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Item #36340

Pearl Harbor - American Hero - Lawrence Williams - USS Arizona

  • Price: $1.00
  • Maker: US Military
  • Model: WW2
  • Caliber: NOT FOR SALE

  • Description: Ensign Lawrence A. Williams is one of the 948 heroes never recovered from the USS Arizona. Williams was born in Ohio on June 3, 1914, to Lawrence W. and Ruth Williams of Oxford Township. Williams attended Miami University (Ohio) School of Architecture, and graduated in June of 1936 with a B. Arch. He began his career as an apprentice soon afterward, while also working in a local hardware store as an electrician. He initially enlisted as a Seaman, 2nd Class in the US Naval Reserves in May of 1940, and was subsequently discharged on October 3, 1940, in order to report for training as a Naval Aviator at NAS Pensacola, Florida. Williams successfully graduated 42nd in his class as a full-fledged Naval Aviator, and was commissioned an Ensign on April 21, 1941. He was assigned to Observation Squadron 1 (VO-1) and billeted aboard the USS Arizona (BB-39), flying a Vought OS2U Kingfisher floatplane (reg. no. 1-0-3). He was killed when Arizonas forward magazine exploded during the surprise Japanese attack on December 7, and his remains were deemed not recoverable. Making this naval aviator one of the 900 Heroes that are still aboard the USS Arizona, Pearl Harbor. The items you see here in the photos are a small snapshot that spans Williams military career from his application to naval aviator school, his training at NAS Pensacola, his billet aboard the ill-fated Battleship Arizona, and the aftermath of his death during the Japanese attack on December 7, 1941. The first two items are Williams naval aviator wings and his USN Pilot license both of which were recovered from the sunken battleship in the months after the attack. The wings show damaged with flattening of the raised edges and almost no damage to the back. We assume the wings were attached to a piece of clothing and scrapped along something hard in the explosion. The Aviator Certification cards are still housed in their embossed, black leather wallet which exhibits extensive water damage, although both of the enclosed cards are still clear and legible. Williams was awarded the Purple Heart, American Defense Service Medal w/Fleet Clasp, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/Star, WWII Victory Medal This is an incredible time capsule detailing the short military career and a life full of promise, cut short in one of the most historically significant events in US and world history. We offer it here for people to view and honor "The Greatest Generation" As everyone who serves and sacrifices, Ensign Williams is a true American Hero. THIS ITEM IS NOT FOR SALE.