From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Willard Sampson '40

Date of birth: June 23, 1916

Date of death: June 22, 1950

Age: 33

Lucky Bag

From the 1940 Lucky Bag:


Sam was lost in a crash of an AJ-1 Savage in Huddleston, VA, while ferrying the aircraft from Edwards AFB, California on June 22, 1950. The page has more details on the crash as well as information on the permanent memorial erected on the site in 2002.

He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. His gravestone lists the Distinguished Flying Cross and two gold stars among his awards; unable to find a citation.

From the August 1950 issue of Shipmate:

Commander Sampson is survived by his wife, Jean, and their girls, Jean, 7 and Helen, 5.

Commander Sampson was a carrier fighter pilot during the war and commanded Fighter Squadron 83 on board the carrier Essex. His duty assignment at the time of his death was with the Piloted Aircraft Division, Bureau of Aeronautics.

Class of 1940

Willard is one of 91 members of the Class of 1940 on Virtual Memorial Hall.