From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

William Spangle, II '46

Date of birth: May 16, 1923

Date of death: September 19, 1950

Age: 27

Lucky Bag

From the 1946 Lucky Bag:


From Ancestry.com:

Gazette and Bulletin (Williamsport, Pa.) of 21 Sept 1950. Lt. (j.g.) William G. Spangle, 28, well-known city young man, was navigator of the Navy transport plane which crashed Tuesday night off the Pacific island of Kwajalein, taking the lives of the 26 persons aboard, it was learned yesterday. The Navy, which announced names of the victims last night after next of kin were notified, said that all those killed were Navy personnel, including 11 nurses on their way to duty in the Far East.

Lieutenant Spangle, who was commissioned from the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md. in 1945 served in World War II and later took flight training, had been engaged in flying personnel between Hawaii and Tokyo for several months. The Navy said the transport crashed at sea shortly after taking off from Kwajalein, where it had stopped on a flight from Honolulu. No other details of the crash were released last night, Associated Press reported.

Lieutenant Spangle's wife, the former Nancy Katherine Bodine, of 1000 Woodmont Avenue, and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Lyell S. Spangle, of 939 Hepburn Street, were notified by telegram of his death yesterday.

A graduate of Williamsport High School in the class of 1941, Lieutenant Spangle attended Williamsport Dickinson Junior College, before his appointment to the Naval Academy. After his graduation from Annapolis in 1945, he served on the battleship Wisconsin, and was aboard the ship in Tokyo harbor when the Japanese surrender was signed in September of that year. After the war he took flight training at Pensacola, Fla., and Corpus Christi, Tex., where he received his wings last year. He has since served on flight duty on Trinidad and Patunxet, Md.

He leaves, in addition to his wife and parents a daughter, Susan, two years; a sister, Mrs. Casper D. Meats, Jr., Highspire; his maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Brooks E. Reese, 1151 West Fourth Street, and his maternal grandmother, Mrs. May Spangle of 1042 West Fourth Street.

Also from that page:

From: Bill Spangle [wspang at verizon.net] Sent: Saturday, December 15, 2012 Subject: Re: Revisions, Nancy Catherine Bodine

Happy to see someone has taken the time to do this geneology. I am William G. Spangle, son of William G. Spangle II who married my mother, Nancy Catherine Bodine. Corrections-my father was born 16 May 1923 and died 19 September 1950. More at American Battlefield Monuments Commission, Korean War database. Also, my mother spelled her middle name with a "C" Catherine.

Again thanks for this undertaking and If I can be of assistance please don't hesitate to ask.

Sincerely, William G. Spangle

The aircraft was a Douglas R5D-3.

From Korean War Educator:

SNA Class of 1945, Lieutenant Spangle was a veteran of World War II. He was the husband of Nancy Katherine Spangle of Williamsport, Pennsylvania and son of Mr. and Mrs. Lyell Shearer Spangle, also of Williamsport. In Korea, he was a member of Air Transport Squadron 21, Barbers Point, Hawaii. Lt. JG Spangle was awarded the Combat Action Ribbon, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Republic of Korea War Service Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal and the Navy Occupation Service Medal with Asia Clasp.

Message from Lieutenant Spangle's son: "It is a wonderful thing you have done. I am William G. Spangle, LtCol, USAF (ret), but my father, also of the same name, was killed in the plane crash off Kwajalein atoll, 19 Sept 1950. I found details of the crash on this website and even after 55 years brought some closure to my father's death. My mother (my Dad's wife) and his mother, only recently deceased, were sketchy on the details and who could blame them! I had considered a trip to Kwajalein Atoll. I don't exactly know why--perhaps just to stand on the runway where my Dad last stood. These details certainly helped. If any readers of this message know more about this crash, I would appreciate hearing from them." - William G. Spangle, Wspang@verizon.net. (KWE Note: Son William was born a little over a month after his 27-year old father was killed in this crash.)

William has a memory marker in Arlington National Cemetery.

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Richard Mabee '46 was also a member of 8th Company.

Class of 1946

William is one of 35 members of the Class of 1946 on Virtual Memorial Hall.