From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

William Austin '46

Date of birth: June 13, 1922

Date of death: July 23, 1953

Age: 31

Lucky Bag

From the 1946 Lucky Bag:


From Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune of Chillicothe, Missouri, on July 24, 1953:

Lieut. William R. Austin, 31, U. S. Navy jet pilot and husband of the former Anne Meinershagen of Chillicothe, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Julius Meinershagen, lost his life yesterday when his plane crashed at sea 45 miles from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. His body was not recovered.

Mrs. Austin and two children, Dave, 6, and Ellen, 3, were at Trenton yesterday when the news was received. Her father brought them to Chillicothe this morning and they will return this evening to Trenton. The Austins had been visiting back and forth at Chillicothe and Trenton while Lieutenant Austin was on a 9-week cruise.

His parents are Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur Austin of Trenton.

The lieutenant was flying a Panther jet from the aircraft carrier USS Wasp. No details of the crash were learned. Austin was to have been an instructor after completing the summer training cruise. Lieutenant Austin was a 1940 graduate of the Trenton high school. He attended the United States Naval Academy and was graduated and commissioned an ensign in 1945. He had been stationed at Norfolk, Va.; Pensacola, Fla.; Washington, D. C.; Brooklyn, N. Y., and Corpus Christi, Tex. For some time, the Austins had been at Jacksonville. Fla. The couple's son was born at Chillicothe in December, 194S. Ellen was born in October, 1949, at Pensacola. Mrs. Austin received the following telegram notifying her of the death: 'I regret to inform you that your husband, Lieut. William Reynolds Austin. U. S. Navy, was killed on 23 July 1953 when his plane crashed at sea 45 miles from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. I regret that his body was not recovered. Your husband died while serving his country and I extend to you my sincerest sympathy in your great loss.—Vice Admiral J. L. Holloway, jr.. Chief of Naval Personnel."

He has a memory marker in Missouri.

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William Armstrong, Jr. '46 and Bennett Hooks '46 were also members of 17th Company.

Class of 1946

William is one of 35 members of the Class of 1946 on Virtual Memorial Hall.