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Lucky Bag

William Hooker Mathews, Jr. is listed on the page titled “And Some We Knew.”

Life & Loss

Unable to find any information about William's life or loss.

There is no record of his loss in the Navy's WWII casualty list. (Included misspelling "Matthews" and middle name in searches.) Suspect he may not have been killed in action; possible that he was not killed in service at all. Suspect it might be a combination of two men, below. William Hooker Mathews, RCAF, matches the date of loss and the middle name; LCDR William Mathews, USN, matches the rank (and nearly the service).

Unable to find record of his death any time after WWII to confirm hypothesis.

Research Summary

  • William was admitted to the Class of 1940 on June 15, 1938, from New York.
  • Age 19 yrs, 10 months at date of admission (Birthday = ~ August 1918)
  • Is listed on the Class of 1940 panel in Memorial Hall between a man killed 9/12/1942 and another lost 11/13/1942. The names are usually chronological, but this is not a hard and fast rule (especially during wartime).
  • Is listed in Memorial Hall as a LCDR, USN.
  • Is listed in Memorial Hall as killed in action.
  • All Lucky Bag, Naval Academy Register, and Memorial Hall mentions have identical spellings and "Jr."
  • Was honorably discharged on July 8, 1937 for reason: "Honorably discharged on account of physical disability incurred in line of duty."
  • Is not included in the Class of 1940 history. (Most non-graduates were not included.)

Other William H. Mathews

William Hooker Mathews, Flight Officer, RCAF

  • Was killed in the window identified above (11/10/1942).
  • Is never listed as "Jr." (though his father is also William H.)
  • Attended the University of Michigan from 1934-1936. (The WMH, Jr. at USNA would have been 15.)
  • Had parents in California, though possibly originally from Connecticut.
  • Aged 26 years at his death. (1-2 years older than USNA's WMH, Jr.)

LCDR William Henry Mathews, Medical Corps, USNR

  • KIA December 1943 in USS Nashville (CL 43)
  • Not a Jr.
  • Different middle name (Henry)
  • USNR, not USN
  • Same rank

Memorial Hall Error

There is no record of this man being killed in World War II, so he should not be listed on the killed in action panel in Memorial Hall. Possible that he should not be listed with class of 1940 at all.

Class Navigation

Class of 1940
William is one of 89 members of the Class of 1940 in Memorial Hall.
<< Fred Cannon '40 John Hanna '40 >>