WILLIAM L. LAMBERSON, LCDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

William Lamberson '38

Date of birth: October 30, 1916

Date of death: January 22, 1945

Age: 28

Lucky Bag

From the 1938 Lucky Bag:


Loss

William was lost when his F6F-5 Hellcat fighter was shot down near Okinawa on January 22, 1945. He was the commanding officer of Fighting Squadron (VF) 3, operating from USS Yorktown (CV 10).

His parents were listed as next of kin. He has a memory marker in Iowa.

Career

From naval aviation historian Richard Leonard via email on February 9, 2018:

  • NAS Pensacola attached for HTA flight training, 8/26/1940
  • NAS Pensacola designated NA # 7231, 3/3/1941
  • Date of rank from 1 Jul 1941 USN Register, 6/2/1941
  • Date of rank from 1 Jul 1943 USN Register, 6/15/1942
  • VF-3 NAS Seattle (XO), 10/1/1943
  • VF-3 NAS Whibey Island (XO), 10/8/1943
  • VF-3 NAS Pasco (XO), 2/7/1944
  • Date of rank LCDR from 1 Jul 1944 USN Register, 3/15/1944
  • VF-3 NAS Alameda (XO), 4/5/1944
  • VF-3 USS Essex (CV-9) (XO) for trnsp to PH, 4/17/1944
  • VF-3 NAS Kahului (XO), 4/22/1944
  • VF-3 NAS Puunene (XO), 5/4/1944
  • VF-3 NAS Hilo (XO), 6/7/1944
  • VF-3 NAS Kahului (XO), 7/22/1944
  • VF-3 NAS Kahului (CO) attached, 8/29/1944
  • VF-3 USS Yorktown (CV-10) (CO), 10/24/1944
  • VF-3 USS Yorktown (CV-10) (CO) NX DFC(2) PH KIA BNR, 1/22/1945

Navy Cross

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Commander William Lacey Lamberson (NSN: 0-81113), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Fighter Plane and Commanding Officer of Fighting Squadron THREE (VF-3), attached to the U.S.S. YORKTOWN (CV-10), in action against enemy Japanese shipping, aircraft and ground installations, at Saigon, French Indo-China, on 12 January 1945. Intercepted by a strong force of Japanese aircraft while leading his flight in a bombing and strafing mission against this heavily fortified Japanese stronghold, Lieutenant Commander Lamberson fought a gallant battle against tremendous odds and personally shot down two of the hostile planes. Proceeding to the assigned target area, he boldly countered the enemy's intense, concentrated anti-aircraft fire to direct a brilliantly executed strike against Japanese shipping and pressed home his own daring attack to score a direct hit on an important merchant vessel. Boldly leading his planes in a determined strafing run against a hostile airfield immediately thereafter, he personally destroyed two grounded aircraft during the fierce engagement and obtained photographs of inestimable value to our forces in planning for and executing subsequent attacks. A forceful leader and superb airman, Lieutenant Commander Lamberson contributed materially to the extensive and costly damage inflicted on vital enemy targets and his valiant devotion to the completion of each hazardous mission was an essential factor in the success of our air operations in the Pacific War Area. His cool courage throughout was an inspiration to all with whom he served and reflects the highest credit upon Lieutenant Commander Lamberson, his intrepid command and the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Commander U.S. Pacific Fleet: Serial 08 (February 1, 1945)
Action Date: 12-Jan-45
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Company: Fighting Squadron 3 (VF-3)
Division: U.S.S. Yorktown (CV-10)

Distinguished Flying Cross

From Hall of Valor:

SYNOPSIS: Lieutenant Commander William Lacey Lamberson (NSN: 0-81113), United States Navy, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (Posthumously) for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as Commanding Officer of Fighting Squadron THREE (VF-3), embarked in U.S.S. YORKTOWN (CV-10), over Luzon, Philippine Islands, on 14 November 1944.

General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 345 (December 1945)
Action Date: November 14, 1944
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Company: Fighting Squadron 3 (VF-3)
Division: U.S.S. Yorktown (CV-10)

From Hall of Valor:

SYNOPSIS: Lieutenant Commander William Lacey Lamberson (NSN: 0-81113), United States Navy, was awarded a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight during World War II.

Action Date: World War II
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Company: Fighting Squadron 3 (VF-3)
Division: U.S.S. Yorktown (CV-10)

Navy Directories & Officer Registers

The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.

The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.

The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.

January 1939

Ensign, USS Oklahoma

Others at this command: LCDR Paul Slawson '20, LT Julian Jordan '25, ENS Forrest Simoneau '36, and ENS Fred Newell, Jr. '37.

October 1939

Ensign, USS Farragut

Others at this command: ENS Harry Bass '38.

June 1940

Ensign, USS Farragut

Others at this command: ENS Harry Bass '38.

November 1940

Ensign, under instruction, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida

Others at this command: LCDR George Grove '15, CDR William Sample '19, LT Finley Hall '29, LT John Yoho '29, LT William Pennewill '29, LT Lance Massey '30, LT Albert Major, Jr. '32, LT Daniel Gothie '32, LT Dewitt Shumway '32, LT George Bellinger '32, LT John Spiers '32, LT Martin Koivisto '32, ENS Frank Peterson '33, LTjg John Phillips, Jr. '33, LTjg Charles Ware '34, LTjg Charles Brewer '34, CAPT Floyd Parks '34, LTjg Frank Whitaker '34, LTjg George Nicol '34, LTjg Philip Torrey, Jr. '34, LTjg Walker Ethridge '34, LTjg Allan Edmands '35, LTjg John Powers '35, LTjg Richard Stephenson '35, LTjg Victor Gadrow '35, LTjg Porter Maxwell '36, LTjg Roy Krogh '36, LTjg Frank Henderson, Jr. '37, LTjg John Thomas '37, LTjg John Boal '37, LTjg Richard Hughes '37, ENS Alphonse Minvielle '38, ENS Carl Holmstrom '38, ENS Charles Anderson '38, ENS Charles King '38, ENS Charles Reimann '38, ENS Curtis Howard '38, ENS Donald Smith '38, 2LT Douglas Keeler '38, ENS Edmundo Gandia '38, ENS Eric Allen, Jr. '38, ENS Frank Quady '38, ENS Frank Case, Jr. '38, ENS Harry Bass '38, ENS Harry Howell '38, ENS Howard Clark '38, ENS Howard Fischer '38, ENS James Ginn '38, 2LT James Owens '38, ENS Jep Jonson '38, ENS John Kelley '38, ENS John Erickson '38, 2LT John Maclaughlin, Jr. '38, ENS John Eversole '38, ENS Leonard Thornhill '38, ENS Marion Dufilho '38, ENS Osborne Wiseman '38, ENS Oswald Zink '38, ENS Richard Crommelin '38, ENS Robert Seibels, Jr. '38, ENS Roy Green, Jr. '38, ENS Roy Hale, Jr. '38, ENS William Brady '38, and ENS William Tate, Jr. '38.


Class of 1938

William is one of 71 members of the Class of 1938 on Virtual Memorial Hall.