WILLIAM H. MATHEWS, JR., FO, RCAF

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

William Mathews, Jr. '40

Date of birth: August 4, 1916

Date of death: November 9, 1942

Age: 26

Naval Academy Register

William Hooker Mathews, Jr. was admitted to the Naval Academy from New York on June 15, 1936 at age 19 years 10 months. He was honorably discharged on July 8, 1937 for reason: "Honorably discharged on account of physical disability incurred in line of duty."

Lucky Bag

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

Loss

From the March 1943 issue of Shipmate:

WILLIAM H . MATTHEWS, JR., '40. It is with great sorrow that Shipmate announces that Bill was reported missing in action as of Nov. 9, 1942, and in view of the lapsed time has now been posted to the Official Casualty List.

Bill enlisted in the R.C.A.F. in late 1940 after refusal to the part of the Navy Department to accept him for flight training at Pensacola.

He was commissioned as a Pilot Officer about September 1941 and transferred to the R.A.F. Coastal Command for patrol duty off of Prince Edward Island.

In April 1942, he was posted to England, flying a bomber across with his specially trained crew, serving for a period in the Coastal Service off England and later based at Londonderry.

From there, he was posted early in the past summer to Gibraltar and reassigned shortly after that to Malta.

Late in October 1942, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, full details of which we do not have.

He is listed on a memorial marker in Malta.

His entry in the Canadian Virtual War Memorial is here. He was a member of No. 69 Squadron (RAF)‏.

Background

Prior to attending the Naval Academy, he attended the University of Michigan from 1934-1936.

His parents lived in California, though possibly originally from Connecticut.

Memorial Hall Error

William was a Flight Officer of the Royal Canadian Air Force, not a LCDR, USN. This was correctly reflected in the Honor Roll in the March 1944 issue of Shipmate.


Class of 1940

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