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Birthdate & Date of Loss

Date of birth: June 23, 1916
Date of death: June 22, 1950
Age: 33

Lucky Bag

1940 Sampson LB.jpg

From the 1940 Lucky Bag:


Evanston, Illinois

The eternal ray of sunshine — no matter how tarnished that hypothetical silver lining may be, it never evades Sam. With this same optimism he treats studies lightly, even when in the shadow of the most ominous of academic eight-balls. Sam is a conscientious swimmer, and a strong arm of the Navy team, upon which a will to win and a rugged physique have earned him a well deserved berth. With his affable personality and ever present sense of humor, Sambo will always have many sincere friends, and his career, in following the footsteps of his brother in the service, is bound to be a happy one. You have made us mighty proud of you, Sammy.


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.

Class Navigation

Class of 1940
Willard is one of 89 members of the Class of 1940 in Memorial Hall.
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