WILLIAM M. CORRY, LCDR, USN
William Corry '10
Date of birth: October 5, 1889
Date of death: October 6, 1920
From the 1910 Lucky Bag:
Corry was born at Quincy, Florida. Admitted to the Naval Academy in June 1906, he graduated in 1910 and spent the next five years serving in the battleship USS Kansas. In mid-1915, Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Corry began instruction in aviation at Pensacola, Florida, and was designated Naval Aviator #23 in March 1916. He had flying positions with the armored cruiser USS Washington between November 1916 and May 1917, then was an officer on the armored cruiser USS North Carolina.
In August 1917, Lieutenant Corry began World War I service in France, where he commanded Naval Air Stations at Le Croisic and Brest during 1918 and early 1919. He was promoted to lieutenant commander in July 1918. Corry remained in France for the rest of 1919 and the first half of 1920, involved in removing U.S. Naval Aviation forces from Europe as part of the post-war demobilization.
In mid-1920, Lieutenant Commander Corry was assigned as aviation aide to the Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Fleet, stationed on the Fleet's flagship, USS Pennsylvania. On October 2, 1920, he was a passenger on a flight from Long Island, New York. The airplane crashed near Hartford, Connecticut. Though thrown clear of the wreckage, the injured Corry ran back to pull the pilot free of the flaming aircraft. Fatally burned during this rescue, William M. Corry died at Hartford on October 6. He posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his heroism.
William was naval aviator #23.
He was survived by his wife, parents, and three siblings. He is buried in Connecticut.
Medal of Honor
From Hall of Valor:
The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Commander William Merrill Corry, Jr., United States Navy, for heroic service in attempting to rescue a brother officer from a flame-enveloped airplane near Hartford, Connecticut. On 2 October 1920, an airplane in which Lieutenant Commander Corry was a passenger crashed and burst into flames. He was thrown 30 feet clear of the plane and, though injured, rushed back to the burning machine and endeavored to release the pilot. In so doing he sustained serious burns, from which he died four days later.
From Hall of Valor:
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lieutenant Commander William Merrill Corry, Jr., United States Navy, for distinguished and heroic service as an Airplane Pilot making many daring nights over the enemy's lines, also for untiring and efficient efforts toward the organization of U.S. Naval Aviation, Foreign Service, and the building up of the Northern Bombing project.
Division: Northern Bombing Group