From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

William Callahan '48

Date of birth: September 20, 1924

Date of death: September 14, 1951

Age: 26

Lucky Bag

From the 1948 Lucky Bag:

Biography & Loss

From researcher Kathy Franz:

William was killed when his Panther jet crashed into the sea on take-off from an aircraft carrier off the Hawaiian Islands on September 14, 1951.

William’s father was Joseph, mother Elizabeth, brothers Alfred and Joseph, and sisters Eleanor, Mary, Joan, and Ann. The family lived a few blocks away from Yankee Stadium. At College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, he participated in intramural sports and N.R.O.T.C.

He was flying a F9F-2 (#127145) from USS Antietam (CV 36). He was a member of Fighter Squadron (VF) 831, a reserve squadron that had been recalled to active duty on February 1, 1951.

Unable to verify his service; seems that he is listed as a LTjg in the January 1, 1951 USNR Officer Register but the November 1951 issue of Shipmate gives date of death and "LT, USN." The 1951-1952 USS Antietam (CV 36) cruise book gives his rank as LT but omits the service. Given that he was a member of a reserve squadron, suspect he was a member of the US Naval Reserve.


From Antietam's cruise book:

As we honor the memories of our departed brothers, we are reminded of the deep debt of gratitude and appreciation we owe them, who, by the sanctity of their service, the heroism of their self-sacrifice, and the sublime testimony of their life’s immolation, contributed their full measure in safeguarding the interests of their beloved country.


Fighter Squadron 831 was a reserve unit operating from New York’s Floyd Bennett Field. Originally assigned the old F4U-4 “Corsair” prop-driven fighters, they received new Navy F9F “Panther Jets” shortly before recall to active duty early in 1951. Following operational training at NAS Alameda and NAS El Centro, California, the squadron reported aboard the Antietam with her sister squadron, VF-837, and other squadrons of Air Group 15.

Memorial Hall Error

William is not listed with his classmates in Memorial Hall. This omission was discovered by researcher Kathy Franz.

Class of 1948

William is one of 48 members of the Class of 1948 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.