From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

William Lawton '64

Date of birth: November 19, 1942

Date of death: August 15, 1966

Age: 23

Lucky Bag

From the 1964 Lucky Bag:


Bill's obituary was provided by his brother, Donald:

Bill was born in DeRidder, LA, the second son of Col. Elmore and Annie (Smith) Lawton, USA (Ret.) It is fitting, as an Army brat, that Bill later graduated in 1960 from Kubasaki High School on Okinawa, Japan. After graduation from the Naval Academy, he entered training to become a Naval Aviator. During training in the Strike (jet) pipeline, he was reassigned to complete his training in the Prop pipeline. Upon receiving his Wings of Gold, his choice of assignment to the Naval Air Technical Training Command NATTC at NAS Glynco, GA was in no small part due to the possibility of flying jets there.

Bill was lost at sea in the crash of an F-8A Crusader, BuNo 145360, on August 15, 1966 over the Atlantic approximately 45 miles east of Glynco. He was returning to NAS Glynco and transiting an area of thunderstorms. The cause of the accident was undetermined. At the time, Bill was in receipt of orders to Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED TWENTY-FIVE (VA-125) at NAS Lemoore, CA, the west coast Replacement Air Group for the A-4 Skyhawk.

Since Bill’s body was never recovered, his parents asked that their own cremains be scattered off the coast of Georgia. This wish was fulfilled on May 20, 2013 by Bill’s brothers, MAJ James F. Lawton, USA, Ret. (USMA ’68) and CDR Donald M. Lawton, USN Ret. (USNA ’74). Donald, a former Naval Aviator, was the pilot and owner of the Beechcraft Bonanza flown to scatter their cremains.

Bill was survived by his parents and siblings Robert, James, Anne and Donald.

Bill’s memorial marker in Arlington National Cemetery is in section MG, Grave 131.


From the October 1966 issue of Shipmate:

Lt.(jg) William C. Lawton, USN, died on 15 Aug. in a military aircraft accident off-shore at the Naval Air Station, Glynco, Ga. Memorial services were held at the Fort Myer Chapel, Va., on 19 Aug. and at the Chapel in the Pines at Glynco on 23 Aug.

Lt. Lawton, who was born in DeRidder, La., was graduated from Kubaski High School, Okinawa, when he was president of his senior class and was a member of the National Senior Honor Society. He was graduated from the Naval Academy in 1964. He was a Sub-Commander and member of the Color Guard and a member of the 150-pound football team at the Academy. He received his wings at Corpus Christi in November 1965, and was assigned to the Naval Air Technical Training Center at Glynco.

He is survived by his parents, Col. Elmore G. Lawton, USA, and Mrs. Lawton of 4913 Heritage Court, Annandale, Va.; three brothers, Robert, James who is a second classman at the Military Academy, and Donald, and a sister Anne.

Class of 1964

William is one of 25 members of the Class of 1964 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

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